Google Tablet | Google plans to compete with iPad?

A plush bag in the shape of the Google Android logo.

The Google Tablet is rumored to be in development, based on the popular Android operating system. Image from Flickr.

The Apple iPad may be the first mass-market slate computer to gain market share, with a rumored Google Tablet on the way, the iPad may not have dominance for long. The New York Times reports that “unnamed sources report the Google CEO is discussing a Google Tablet. The Google Tablet has not been officially announced yet (or has it?), so tech geeks around the world can start filling out personal loan application paperwork now for this soon-to-be-had device.

Google Tablet rumors run wild

The rumors about the Google Tablet are, thus far, very nebulous. Some say that the Google Tablet will be made by HTC – the same company that makes the Google Android phones. Others say that the fact Google will be launching an e-book store soon points to a possible Google Tablet. Rumors are that Hewlett-Packard is also working on a Google Tablet that uses the Android operating system.

The Google Tablet – WePad

If a native Google Tablet is a reality or not, there is already an in-production Google Tablet. The WePad, a slate computer that runs on the Google Android operating system, is already in production. A Google Tablet in operating system and design, the WePad is designed and build by Neofonie GmbH – a German company. The WePad has a larger screen than the iPad, offers a faster processor, webcam and integrated USB ports as well as support for Java, Flash, and Adobe AIR — all features the iPad lacks. The WePad is a Google Tablet in the fact that it runs on the Google Android operating system. It will be available for pre-ordering in Germany on April 27 and worldwide soon after.

Google Tablet through Android

Much like Google’s cell phone market integration, the Google Tablet will most likely take several forms. The Android operating system is being licensed and used by many device operators other than Google. While a Google Tablet may take a year or two to develop, the Google Android system is ensuring that there is money to lend when a company wants a stable, unlocked operating system.

Other iPad tablet competitors

The Google Tablet is not the only rumored iPad competitor. The Microsoft Courier, a product rumored to be released in early 2011, is a dual-screen, pen-based tablet-style device that will run on the Windows operating system. Nokia is also working on a small “converged” e-reader. H.P.’s “Half-Pint” in a Google Tablet style device that is tiny, only six inches diagonally, that will run on Android.

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