As Android tablet manufacturers struggle to get traction up against the Apple iPad which has over 70% market share, Google has moved to sell tablets direct despite the Compay struggling to sell smartphones the same way.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google will sell co-branded tablets directly to consumers through an online store like rivals Apple and Amazon who have re4cently launched their new Kindle tablet in Australia.
Originally the Nexus One made by HTC was sold directly and after failingt to attract consumers the search Company cut a deal with Samsung who sell the smartphone via carriers like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
Like the Nexus One, future Android tablets are expected to be co-branded with Google’s name, however it is not known whether Samsung with their Galaxy tablets will adopt the same approach as they do withb the Google branded smartphone.
THe WSJ said that Google is is expected to sell devices from a variety of manufacturers as opposed to manufacturing them themselves.
They said one co-branded tablet that may be sold in the online store is due to be released later this year by Taiwan-based Asus, said one of these people.
Details of the project remain unclear, including when Google plans to unveil the online store. Google is expected to release the next version of its Android software, called Jelly Bean, in the middle of this year, people familiar with the matter have said.
By selling tablets directly to consumers, Google is upping the ante against Apple, which debuted its market-leading iPad two years ago. Android-based tablets made by Samsung and others have been slow sellers by comparison. Last fall research firm Gartner estimated Apple would capture 73% of the tablet market versus 17% for Android.
Google also faces competition from Amazon.com, which last year jumped into tablets with its $199 Kindle Fire, in a move to scoop up the less-expensive side of the market.
Google Android partners in the tablet market have struggled “Honestly, we’re not doing very well in the tablet market,” Hankil Yoon, a product strategy executive for Samsung, said at the Mobile World Congress conference earlier this year.