DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim has told CNET that he expects Google to launch a 7-inch, own-brand tablet in the near future, and reckons that the tablet could head to production as soon as April.
Shim said that the tablet is likely to have a 1280 x 800 resolution display, and expects the initial production run to reach between 1.5 million and 2 million units. These comments follow a report from Asia-based Digitimes earlier in the year which claimed that Google’s tablet will run Android 4.0 and will be priced at $199, putting it in direct competition with Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
Despite the rumor, Shim is unsure how Google will market the tablet. "I don't know how they plan on marketing it. If it's going to be a premium device, or if it's going to be a Kindle Fire type competitor", said Shim, when speaking to CNET's Brooke Crothers.
Google’s interest in the tablet market is due to take a spike later this year when (if expected) it completes the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the manufacturer of the Xoom and the Xyboard tablets. Some professionals in the industry, including HP CEO Meg Whitman, have questioned whether Google's Android operating system will remain an open platform after Google completes the buyout of Motorola.