Google to sell co-branded tablets directly to consumers through online store, sources say

“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.]

24 Comments

  1. About time google did this been waiting for a long time. U sad ppl out there compatition is good all u ppl ever do is complain about other companies it then lot making money and u lot arguing like girls, at the end of the day it the peoples decition what they want to buy and what they can afford,

    1. Maz-
      I’m guessing from the spelling and punctuation quality in your post, that what “you can afford” is about “$19.95” for a Giggles tablet (think Infomercial). Wait- that actually sounds about right given the surety that it will be crammed full of commercial advertising to subsidize the price…

    2. While I disagree with Maz’s opinion, it is clear he/she is a non-native english speaker/writer, so give them a break. I can’t vouch for his/her intelligence based their expressed opinion, though.

  2. I wonder if Google is trying to take some control back from it’s OEM’s and wireless carriers.

    If I have an iPad, it’s entirely up to Apple to decide if it’s going to get the next version of iOS. With an Android Tablet, Google has to release the software, then it has to be supported by the OEM AND the wireless carrier if its a 3G or LTE model!

    It’s all about the final consumer experience, something that a whole lot of people don’t seem to understand.

    1. No search engine. Thats the road to ruin. Check out Microsoft and Google. Microsoft has been subsidizing every market it has tried to enter since Office and Windows monopoly was established. It has drained innovation out of the business.

      Now too, Google, after achieving effective monopoly status in search, is desperate to extend and defend it, so rather than innovate, they are creating products the market doesn’t desire and having to subsidize them, Google+ and now tablets. Google is dead on the innovation end. They are 3-5 years behind RIM.

      One more leapfrog by Apple, and it’s game over for both Microsoft and Google. I’m just wondering if Steve left that one last leapfrog move with his team. Only time will tell.

      1. Try duckduckgo.com if you want a truly unbiased search engine. It takes you out of what’s called “the search bubble” and doesn’t track you.

        I stopped using Google a couple years ago when their results got so cluttered and unreliable I could never find what I wanted. I switched to Bing and then later signed up for Bing rewards so I could get free Xbox points. It’s not a bad deal, really. And I have only been dissatisfied with its performance a couple of times. You can sign up here, if you’re interested:

        http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9778718&rrid=42B7ADF9-41A4-4337-B5FB-19A967B41DA3

        I’m just waiting for DuckDuckGo to be available in Mobile Safari, or for Apple to release their own ad-free search engine (THAT would be the Google killer).

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