Google may start selling Google-branded Tablets this year in a bid to boost Android-powered Tablet sales in a market that is dominated by Apple's iPad.
"The Internet search company will sell co-branded Tablets directly to consumers through an online store like rivals Apple and Amazon," said The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.
"The move is an effort to turn around sluggish sales of Tablet computers powered by Google's Android software."
While Google's brand name will feature prominently on the Google Tablets, the company is not expected to design and produce the hardware in-house. Various manufacturers including Samsung Electronics and AsusTeK Computer will be responsible for the hardware on the devices, said The Wall Street Journal.
The Tablets will not be Google's first foray into the consumer device market. In 2010 Google launched the HTC-made Nexus One smartphone under its own brand and started selling the device contract-free online.
Rumours of a Google-made device started circling back in Dec 2011 when former Google chief executive officer Eric Schmidt revealed to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, "in the next six months we plan to market a Tablet of the highest quality."
Online retailer Amazon is also reported to be beefing up its Tablet arsenal in the coming year, following on from the success launch of its Kindle Fire Tablet.
In a March 29 report Taiwanese IT industry English-language newspaper DigiTimes said that "Amazon will launch at least two tablet PCs in 2012, with a possibility that the number may increase to four, according to industry sources. Shipments of a 10.1in model are expected to begin in July." - Relaxnews 2012