Look for more action in the tablet market as word is that Google is set to dip its marketing might in that segment with the launch of a 7-inch design later this year.
The Google-branded tablet will have a 1280×800 resolution 7-inch display with Production slated for April. The initial production run is between 1.5 million to 2 million units.
By comparison, the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire has a 1024×600 display.
The Google tablet will run Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” and be priced around $199 to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
However, it is not clear how Google will market the device.
Google is just fininshing up their aquision of Motorola, and when it does, they will be the proud owners of three existing tablets: the original 10.1-inch Xoom, the 10.1-inch Xoom 2, and the 8.2-inch Xyboard. Why Google feels it needs to have a 7-inch device too is not clear.
But the relative success of the 7-inch Kindle Fire could be one reason. Amazon shipped 5.3 million Fires in the fourth quarter. Though those numbers are only shipments, estimated Kindle Fire sales are pegged at five million units. Only Apple’s iPad has exceeded that level of sales and shipments in that short of a time period.
And the small-screen tablet market could get crowded very quickly, with a smaller iPad is now in the testing stage.
That Apple tablet, if it becomes a real product, likely won’t appear until late this year. Presumably giving Google time to test its design before a smaller Apple tablet hits the market.