Eric Schmidt: Google plans Nexus tablet launch within 6 months, in time for Google I/O
Ever since the launch, and subsequent disappointment, of the Motorola XOOM, Android fans have been waiting for a Nexus branded tablet from Google, and Eric Schmidt has said we could see one in 6 months. This seems like the perfect time for Google to make this move, because Google is finally leaving the weird offshoot OS version, Honeycomb, behind and moving forward with a unified Android ecosystem and Ice Cream Sandwich.
Schmidt made the comment while speaking with an Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera. Schmidt said, “in the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality”, and noted that the smartphone market specifically will see "brutal competition between Apple and Google Android." Schmidt also paid respect to Steve Jobs calling him "the Michelangelo of our time."
A Nexus tablet seemed pretty much inevitable with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich, because at its root, Nexus devices are developer reference devices. At last year's Google I/O, Google gave away the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to developers, but it's about time Google had a tablet to call its own. Given that Google I/O 2012 is just over 6 months away, it seems reasonable that Google wants the Nexus tablet out in time for that developer conference.
Unfortunately, there's no more word on the tablet. At the least it seems reasonable that it will include a quad-core processor, but beyond that we don't know what to expect, or even who the hardware partner will be. Given the quality of their Android tablets in the market, it seems likely that Samsung and Asus are on the short list to be that partner. As always, we'll bring you more as it comes out.