With Apple planning to launch the highly anticipated iPad 3 as early as February of 2012, Google appears to be planning on launching a competing device in the near future. In a recent interview with an Italian newspaper, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt said; “In the next six months, we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality.”
Although Schmidt is normally talkative and eager to discuss Google’s future plans, he was uncharacteristically quiet regarding the details of the future tablet. However, many people are interpreting his statement that the tablet will be of the “highest quality” to imply it will compete directly with Apple’s new iPad 3.
The new iPad 3 is expected to be a much more technologically advanced model than the iPad 2 and experts are predicting it will include a high-end quad-core processor and a high-resolution screen display of 2048 x 1536 (similar to the Retina display in the current iPhone). In addition, Apple has been rumored to be considering producing a smaller version of the iPad with a screen size of 7.85 inches.
With Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet selling extremely well, Android powered tablets are predicted to make up 40.3% of tablets sold this quarter (Q4). Android’s market share, which increased significantly from 32.4% in Q3, appears to be steadily reducing Apple’s share of the tablet market.
Even though the Kindle Fire has sold over one million tablets per week and performed well enough to boost Android’s overall market share, it is clearly not a $200 version of the iPad. However, it will be interesting to see how Google’s entrance into the tablet marketplace and the next version of Amazon’s Kindle Fire impact future iPad sales and Android’s market share.