On Monday, The Next Web pointed out an interview between Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in which Schmidt spoke of the possibility of the web giant releasing a new tablet within the next six months.
Schmidt says that Google "plan[s] to market a tablet of the highest quality," although TNW is quick to point out that the Italian-language interview was transcribed into English via Google Translate and might be a little vague. Schmidt might mean that Google is working on a "Nexus-grade" tablet or simply lending its Ice Cream Sandwich operating system to a Motorola or Samsung device, according to TNW.
Chris Velazco at TechCrunch questions whether the supposed Google tablet would be part of the Nexus family. He reasons that the point of Nexus is to be on the cutting edge, but if Google's goal with this tablet is to compete with iPad, the company will have to make something that has mass appeal.
However, Samsung seems to be benefitting from the successul launch of the Galaxy S II handset, as well as the buzz surrounding the release of the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, the first handset powered by Android 4.0. Based on recent numbers from YouGov BrandIndex, Samsung has squeaked passed Apple in terms of consumer perception.
"The iPhone’s buzz score began sinking around November 28, with a buzz score of 33 – the current score [reported on December 14] is 25. Samsung, whose buzz score was 19 compared to the iPhone’s 29 on October 3rd, is now at 26," reports BrandIndex.
A November study pegged Apple's iPad commanding almost 75 percent of the tablet market; AllThingsD stated at the time that this lead may have been at least partly due to the lack of a true tablet competitor. Following the breakout Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, Google now faces another new competitor in an increasingly crowded space.
Schmidt also told Corriere della Sera that Google is working to improve their voice-recognition technology in order to compete with Apple's Siri voice-control software, a standout feature on the iPhone 4S.
Last week Android and Me reported that Google was working on a "secret" voice-assistant project, code-named "Majel" after the Federation Computer from "Star Trek." Majel will be based on Google's Voice Actions, but with the addition of natural language processing. Android and Me speculates that Google could release a Siri rival as early as the end of this year, but notes that "a January or February release might be more realistic."