Google, Other Firms Reportedly Working on Devices to Compete with Apple’s iPad

The New York Times is reporting that Google is reportedly preparing to launch its own Android-based entrant into the field as Nokia, HP and Microsoft also move forward on their own plans for devices in the emerging industry segment.

Eric E. Schmidt, chief executive of Google, told friends at a recent party in Los Angeles about the new device, which would exclusively run the Android operating system. People with direct knowledge of the project — who did not want to be named because they said they were unauthorized to speak publicly about the device — said the company had been experimenting in “stealth mode” with a few publishers to explore delivery of books, magazines and other content on a tablet.

The competitors apparently held back to see what Apple would make of its tablet device while competitors such as HP and others have been developing their own units.

While an unsurprising development given Google’s and Apple’s increasing overlap, a Google tablet would offer yet another area of direct competition between Apple and Google and likely escalate tensions even further.

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