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Google planning low-end tablet to rival the Amazon Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire could see its low pricing undercut this year, as reports suggest that Google is planning a low-end tablet to go head-to-head with Amazon.

The Kindle Fire is still not available in the UK, but rumours abound that we can expect to see the affordable tablet in the early stages of 2012.

Amazon will be keen to secure a UK release date as soon as possible, given the success the Kindle Fire has across the pond.

Amazon announced recently that the Kindle Fire tablet had enjoyed a boost in sales in the US in the run-up to Christmas.

Strong sales for Amazon Kindle Fire

The online store’s tablet is estimated to have sold between four and five million units in the US in the later stages of last year.

“We are grateful to our customers worldwide for making this the best holiday ever for Kindle,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, in a statement.

This is largely down to the Kindle Fire’s price tag. At $199, the Kindle Fire is a very attractive alternative to the likes of the iPad 2 – still highly priced at $499.

People love a bargain, and although some reviews of the Kindle Fire have claimed that it looks and feels a bit cheap, that hasn’t put anybody off.

Google to rival Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire’s popularity has not escaped the notice of tech giant Google, which now wants a slice of the low-end tablet pie.

That’s according to reports from tech website Digitimes, which has claimed that Google is targeting the Kindle Fire as its main competitor.

It’s an interesting development, especially since the Kindle Fire uses an operating system based on Google Android.

Nevertheless, Google are reported to be planning a 7-inch tablet that will run the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, priced close to the Kindle Fire to try and take some of Amazon’s sales.

But given that Google chairman Eric Schmidt stated that he wanted a Google tablet of “the highest quality” for 2012, we’re not sure how a low cost will be possible.