Google is planning to sell branded tablets directly to consumers through an online store, as it tries to wrestle away market share from the Apple iPad. According to The Wall Street Journal, the search giant plans to sell a number of co-branded tablets, which are expected to be manufactured by partners including Asus and Samsung.
Devices are expected to be released later this year with Android’s latest version, called ‘Jelly Bean’.
Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by Google for $12.5 billion last year, is also tipped to supply hardware, the WSJ reported.
Asus, Samsung and Google have all declined to comment. No specifications have been released, but devices are expected to be released later this year along with the next version of Android, which has been named Jelly Bean.
It remains to be seen whether this strategy will help Google to claw back market share from Apple, which Gartner estimates to be close to 75 per cent.
With Amazon also entering the tablet market with the low-cost Kindle Fire, Google may have to focus on bringing more competitive budget tablets to market.
It remains to be seen whether the direct sale strategy will be successful. Google previously opened an online store in 2010 through which it sold the Nexus One smartphone directly to customers. However, this strategy was abandoned after just four months as sales were tepid.
Despite trailing in the tablet market, Android is now the most popular smartphone operating system and there are over 850,000 devices activated per day.