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Google tablet rumours: what you need to know

We know that Google is working on a tablet, and we know when it’s coming out – not because of internet rumour-mongers, but because of ex-CEO Eric Schmidt.

This won’t be a me-too Android tablet, but something very different. So what can we expect?

The Google Nexus Tablet release date will be summer 2012

That’s what Eric Schmidt says, anyway. “Noi nei prossimi sei mesi contiamo di mettere sul mercato un tablet di altissima qualità,” he said, because he was in Italy. In English, that’s “we’ll bring a tablet of the highest quality to market in the next six months”, or perhaps “I’ll have the pasta, but hold the parmesan”.

The Google tablet specs will be more Kindle-y than iPad-y

Everybody assumed that Google’s tablet would be an iPad rival. The fools! There are already stacks of iPad rivals running Android and costing roughly the same amount of cash, and it’s hard to imagine what Google can bring to that party beyond heavy subsidy.

It makes much more sense to believe DigiTimes – yes, that DigiTimes, the one with the rather patchy track record when it comes to predictions – and its claims that Google is going after the Kindle Fire.

That means the Google tablet specifications will include a seven-inch screen rather than a ten-incher. OLED-display says the panel is coming from Samsung, and will run a resolution of 1024 x 600.

It’s a much bigger potential market, and one that Apple isn’t in at all. Unless it drops the iPad 2 price out of sheer badness when the iPad 3 comes out.

The Google Nexus tablet will be a media tablet

Again, think Kindle Fire – but with Google Books, Google Music and YouTube instead of Amazon content.

The Google tablet will be called the Google Nexus tablet

That’s what most people think, anyway: Google already uses Nexus for its reference smartphones, although we suppose it’s always possible that they might call the Google tablet something else, such as the Google Boogle.

The Google tablet operating system will be Android 4.0

This one’s a no-brainer: Google’s Nexus tablet will come with the most up-to-date version of Android, and if it’s going to ship by the summer that means the Google tablet OS will be Ice Cream Sandwich, aka Android 4.0.

The Google Nexus tablet user interface will be Holo

Google’s laid down the law on this one: All future Android 4.0 devices must feature its default theme, Holo. It’s hardly going to dig out MS Paint and ruin the UI for its own super-tablet.

The Google tablet price will be below £200

There’s no point competing with the Kindle Fire if your product is more expensive. That means a heavily subsidised US price of no more than $199, which works out as a UK price of £150 to £199.

Like Amazon, Google’s going to lose money on each one it sells – and like Amazon, it hopes to make the money back from other sources of income. For Amazon that’s media sales; for Google it’s media sales and advertising.

Google tablet rumours: what you need to know