The Google tablet rumor continues to twirl, with the latest reports claiming Google, HTC and Verizon are launching a tablet computer Nov. 26 to grab some of the growing market Apple’s iPad is carving out.
The kicker in this Download Squad report is that the device is not based on Google’s open-source Android operating system for mobile devices but on the Chrome operating system.
Spokespeople for Google and Verizon both declined to comment on rumor or speculation.
The idea that HTC and Verizon are working with Google is no surprise. HTC makes many Android smartphones and Google is getting in bed with Verizon on network neutrality.
It’s not hard to imagine a Chrome OS tablet running Verizon high-speed Internet services the way AT&T powers Apple’s 3G iPad.
Even so, what makes this report interesting is that Google has repeatedly said that the first devices Chrome OS would appear on would be clamshell-style netbooks this fall.
So unless a Chrome OS netbook makes its way to the market before Nov. 26, which happens to be Black Friday, or the busiest shopping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the rumor is every bit a rumor.
Indeed, a source familiar with Google’s plans said there is no Chrome OS tablet planned for that date, pointing to the false rumor that Asus would show off Chrome OS devices at Computex in June.
Still, no one can count out the fact that the success of Apple’s iPad, which has sold more than 4 million units to date, may have changed the game. Google could be launching Chrome OS on netbooks and tablets this fall.
Released to open source last November, Chrome OS is a Web operating system geared to accelerate the boot process in computers.
Users will access Web apps through the Chrome Web browser on Chrome OS machines, which will be absent local storage. Google even created a Web-based printing system called Google Cloud Print.
The search giant said it plans to launch a Chrome Web Store this fall to host Web apps such as online games for developers.
Basing the details on Google’s existing hardware notes and the Chromium Website, the Download Squad speculated the device will likely be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chipset and use a 1280 by 720 multitouch display.
The device designed to challenge the popular iPad could have 2GB of RAM, 32GB SSD, WiFi/Bluetooth/LTE connectivity, GPS, Webcam and possibly expandable storage via a multicard reader.
The Chrome OS tablet talk is the latest of several tablet rumors centering around Google, Verizon and Motorola.
Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said his company was building an Android tablet with Google in May.
Since that time, reports of a 10-inch, Android 3.0 tablet built by Motorola and serviced by Verizon Wireless have surfaced.
The Financial Times earlier this month said Motorola and Verizon were working on an Android TV tablet.