Google CEO Eric Schmidt has confirmed that his company is developing a tablet device based on the Android operating system, according to friends that spoke to the executive at a recent event in Los Angeles. The New York Times reports that Google has “been working with several hardware manufacturers,” and “hopes to make its own apps marketplace available for new slate-like devices.”
Although Google is yet to publicly announce such a device, many signs point to its likely launch. For starters, Google has been rumored to be developing a slate device with HTC – the same company it brought Nexus One to market with – since January. Moreover, the company has already announced plans for an e-book store expected to launch within the next few months.
It’s also clear that Google has plans for Android that go way beyond phones. There’s already an Android-powered car on the way, as well as plans for what’s being called “Google TV.” While Chrome OS for netbooks is also expected by year-end (and there are rumored Chrome tablets too), an Android tablet now seems imminent.
A move into tablet devices would also further Google’s growing competition with Apple, who just released the iPad. Many other companies are also expected to join the tablet race this year, and just last week, it was reported that Nokia was developing its own device.
Are you excited about the prospects of a Google tablet? Let us know in the comments.