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Rumoured Google Nexus Tablet To Challenge Kindle Fire

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Google’s rumoured Nexus tablet could come as early as April – and looks like being a low-cost Kindle-killer

Google’s rumoured tablet is intended to challenge Amazon’s Kindle Fire – not Apple’s iPad.

The new flagship Android tablet, which has not been confirmed by Google, will cost around $199 (£128) and run the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Google’s Android operating system, according to sources from Google’s supply chain. And it could be ready as early as April.

Increasing speculation

Speculation intensified that Google was working on its own tablet after comments made by chairman Eric Schmidt last month. “In the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality,” Schmidt told an Italian newspaper.

Precious few details have been disclosed about the rumoured device, but DigiTimes is claiming that the so-called “Nexus” tablet will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and will be priced competitively at $199 (£128), bringing it head to head with Amazon’s recently launched Kindle Fire.

Android tablets have to date struggled to break Apple’s stranglehold on the tablet market, adding strength to the suggestion that Google could be ready to create a flagship device, just as it did in the smartphone arena with its range of Nexus phones.

Google has released three Nexus phones so far, the HTC built Nexus One and the Samsung manufactured Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus. The company was rumoured to be preparing its own tablet in April 2010, but has still not released such a device. However the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which created the Android-powered Xoom tablet, could have renewed Google’s interest.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which runs a modified version of Android, has been the most successful in challenging the iPad since it was released in November. The tablet was reportedly on track to sell four million Kindle Fires over the Christmas period, with its competitive price of $199 (£126) fuelling its popularity.

However Amazon has promised to update the tablet following a number of complaints about its usability and there is currently no confirmed UK release date.

Despite this, TechWeekEurope will be giving away a Kindle Fire as soon as we get our hands on one. for a chance to win it, subscribe to one of our newsletters.