10 Hardware Products Google Should Develop

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10 Hardware Products Google Should Develop

By Don Reisinger

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1. Smartphone

OK, so the company already offers the Nexus One. But it's not made by Google. HTC developed the Nexus One with some insight from the search giant. That's not good enough. Google needs to develop its own smartphone from beginning to end. With Google's ability to satisfy consumer desire, I have a feeling that such a device might trump the Nexus One and perhaps any other smartphone on many fronts.

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2. Netbook

With Chrome OS on its way, it might be a good idea for Google to think about developing a netbook. That could hurt its relationship with other hardware makers that will be installing Chrome OS on their own netbooks, but the company offers the Nexus One in the smartphone space. Why would a Google-branded netbook be any different?

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3. Tablet

All the talk recently is about Apple's iPad. Currently, it looks like only the HP Slate has a chance at besting Apple's device. But what if Google got into the market? Its tablet could run Android and offer many of the same features already included in the iPad. And thanks to Apple tipping its hand so early, Google might even be able to improve upon the iPad. It's worth a shot.

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4. Desktop

Chrome OS won't be designed solely for netbooks forever. Google has even said that a business version will be available next year. When that happens, Google needs to be prepared with a desktop that can run Chrome OS. The enterprise requires power and compatibility. A desktop running a high-powered Chrome OS might do the job.

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5. Game Console

If there's any company that Google can't stand, it's Microsoft. The search giant has gone out of its way to take on Microsoft in every space. But it has yet to break into gaming. When the next console cycle comes around, Google should develop one. The company has the cash needed to invest in hardware and strategic partnerships with game developers. It also has the name recognition required to be successful in the space. It just might work.

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6. Set-Top Box

As Google continues to push its way deeper into the tech industry, there's one core market that it has yet to push deeply into: entertainment. All that can change if it delivers a set-top box. Offering a set-top box makes sense on a number of levels for Google. The company can partner with content providers, allow users to access Web content and much more. So far, no company has been able to corner the set-top box market. Maybe this is Google's chance.

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7. Laptop

If Google develops a desktop and a netbook, why wouldn't it offer a laptop? There are several benefits to releasing a laptop. The laptop can run Chrome OS, making it an ideal choice for consumers looking for something other than Mac OS X or Windows 7. It would also round out Google's offering of netbooks, notebooks and desktops (assuming it follows our recommendations). If Google really wants its OS to take off, it needs to be prepared with hardware to suit every need.

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8. Mobile Phone

Smartphones are great and all, but regular old mobile phones are still coveted by millions of customers around the globe. Since Google delivered a Nexus One smartphone, it should also offer an Android-based mobile phone that can compete with companies like Samsung, LG and others. It's easy to overlook basic mobile phones in today's marketplace, but we can't. They are still an extremely important part of the mobile industry.

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9. Router

If Google plans to deliver a 1G-bps network, it should also offer a router. One of the main issues with routers today is that the vast majority of them don't work nearly as well as users would like. Plus, they can't accommodate a full 1G-bps network. Google can capitalize on that with routers of its own. It might not be as flashy as some of the other devices in this slideshow, but it could be extremely important to Google's future success.

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10. A Unique Take On the iPod

The iPod easily leads the PMP market. Companies like Microsoft have tried and failed to oust Apple. But Google might be able to do it with the right strategy. Rather than simply duplicate the iPod, Google can use its Web expertise to make its device a true Web-focused competitor to the iPod. It can deliver access to Web content and offer Web-based services that we simply don't find in the iPod. It's a long shot, for sure, but it might be a viable alternative to what we're already seeing from Apple.

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