“Google Inc., undaunted by a short-lived attempt to market and sell smartphones on its own, is now trying the approach with tablet computers in a quest to capture market share from Apple Inc.’s AAPL -1.26% iPad,” Amir Efrati reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The Internet search company will sell co-branded tablets directly to consumers through an online store like rivals Apple and Amazon.com Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. The move is an effort to turn around sluggish sales of tablet computers powered by Google’s Android software.”

“Like the Nexus One, some future Android tablets are expected to be co-branded with Google’s name, said people familiar with the matter,” Efrati reports. “The company is expected to sell devices from a variety of manufacturers. Google won’t make the devices and its existing partners such as Samsung Electronics Co. and AsusTeK Computer Inc. 2357.TW -0.90% will be responsible for the hardware, these people said.”

“By selling tablets directly to consumers, Google is upping the ante against Apple, which debuted its market-leading iPad two years ago. Android-based tablets made by Samsung and others have been slow sellers by comparison,” Efrati reports. “Last fall research firm Gartner estimated Apple would capture 73% of the tablet market versus 17% for Android… Google is seeking to increase adoption of its Android software so that its search, maps and other services—which generate the vast majority of its mobile revenue through the sale of ads—become mainstays in the mobile-device world.”

Efrati reports, “To boost the prospects of its new online tablet store, Google was considering subsidizing the cost of future tablets in order to compete on pricing with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, said one person with knowledge of the effort.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Watch those patents now, ya hear?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ed B.” for the heads up.]