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Google to Take on Apple and the iPad with its Own Online Tablet Store

Google is currently building an online emporium for Android tablets, which will sell many different tablet devices from manufacturers such as ASUS and Samsung.

The Wall Street Journal today reported that Google is already in the process of creating the store, which may offer Google-branded products. These could turn out to be the ‘Nexus’ tablets that we’ve heard so much about recently. Rumours have been rife that ASUS will be the company Google selects to build a Google-branded Nexus tablet, after the successes of its Ice Cream Sandwich tablet, the Transformer Prime.

As per usual, “people familiar with the matter” have provided the hot gossip. We’re told that Google aims to take to the web to sell Android tablets, much like the way that Apple and Amazon do so.

With a growing number of manufacturers using Google’s Android OS to run their own tablet computers, Google believes it’s about time it had its own name on a product. WSJ believes that ASUStek and Samsung Electronics will be responsible for manufacturing the hardware side of things, with Google providing the ‘Nexus’ experience with the latest Android software, just as it has done with smartphones such as the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, both of which were manufactured by Samsung.

One of The WSJ’s sources claims that the first Google-branded tablets will be an ASUS model, which will launch later in the year. Many people already believe that the 7-inch ASUS MeMo tablet that was announced earlier in the year at CES will be the first Nexus tablet. The product was announced back in January to much fanfare, but ASUS has seemingly kept things quiet since then.

We’ve heard claims before from various sources that the first Nexus tablet will be made by ASUS and be affordable. Price was a key factor talked about earlier in the year when ASUS announced the MeMo tablet, putting the price at $249. The tablet uses Nvidia’s Quad-Core Tegra 3 processor, which although is a top-end component, can still be used in cheap tablets, so says Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsung Huang. He believes that by removing other expensive components such as memory, manufacturers can still produce fast and capable Tegra 3 tablets at a low price – as low as $199.

Finally, WSJ says that Google will launch its next major Android version – Jelly Bean – in the middle of this year. This timeframe coincides perfectly with Google’s annual I/O conference, the last of which Google used to announce Ice Cream Sandwich.

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Via: WSJ