Verizon Wireless said May 11 it is working with Google to offer consumers a tablet computer based on Google's Android operating system, putting Apple's iPad squarely in their crosshairs. The No. 1 wireless carrier won't say who is making it or when it will be released. It's no surprise that Google would rev its engine to get Android on a tablet. After all, Google followed Apple's iPhone with Android on smartphones, and its efforts have led to three dozen Android smartphones in the market and counting.
Verizon Wireless confirmed it is working with Google to offer consumers a
tablet computer based on Google's Android operating system, putting Apple's
iPad squarely in their crosshairs.
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told
the Wall Street Journal (paywall warning) about its tablet
plans May 11. Verizon spokespeople confirmed the plans but declined to say who is
making the machine, when the machine will appear or what it will feature.
Google, the only vendor to generate more tablet talk than the smash hit
iPad, was even more noncommittal about an Android tablet. When asked for more
information about the device, the spokesperson told eWEEK May 11:
"The Android smartphone platform was designed from the beginning to
scale downward to feature phones and upward to MID and netbook-style devices.
We look forward to seeing what contributions are made and how an open platform
spurs innovation, but we have nothing to announce at this time."
Given the success of the iPad, it's no surprise that Google would rev its
engine to get Android on a tablet. After all, Google followed Apple's iPhone
with Android on smartphones, and its efforts have led
to three dozen Android smartphones in the market
The iPad leverages a version of the iPhone OS and features the same apps
Apple offers to iPhone users through its App Store.
It's not a stretch to conclude an Android tablet from Verizon will feature
much of the Google Apps software loaded onto the Android-based Droid
smartphones it sells, including the Motorola Droid, HTC
Droid Eris and the HTC Droid Incredible.
These devices include such Web services as YouTube, Google Maps Navigation,
Google Search by voice and other apps Google aims to put in front of mobile
The Google-Verizon tablet is obviously a counter to the 3G-enabled version
of the iPad Apple offers through sole iPhone partner AT&T.
Verizon doesn't want to get frozen out of the tablet market the way it
initially lost out on the newfangled smartphone craze triggered by the iPhone.
Less clear is how Verizon's latest bedding with Google and Android will affect
the alleged deal to get the iPhone, let alone the iPad, on Verizon's network.
Meanwhile, if the early reports are any indication, the development of
Android-based tablets is comparable to the evolution of Android on multiple
smartphones. The New York Times reported
last month that Google was working on a tablet.
The company acquired two software makers, Agnilux
and Bump Technologies
, to flesh out its tablet strategy
. Adobe showed off
an Android tablet at the Web 2.0 Expo one week ago.