Google’s rumored Nexus tablet could cannibalize sales of partner tablets

Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt made comments during a press conference in mid-December that suggested his company was working on building its own Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. It’s entirely possible that Schmidt’s comments were taken out of context, so we’re still chalking the slate up as a rumor. If Google does in fact decide to launch a tablet, however, sources speaking to DigiTimes believe it could have an adverse affect on tablet sales for Google’s Android partners. DigiTimes’s sources said Google may deploy a newer Android 4.1 operating system on its tablets while forcing other vendors, such as Acer, Lenovo and Asus to launch devices powered by an older Android 4.0 build. As one might expect, Android 4.1 will likely offer features unavailable to Android 4.0 users, which could result in more customers favoring Google’s tablet over competing devices. Google partnered with Samsung to launch its “pure Google” Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, earlier this year. However, this time around it is suspected that Google will partner with Motorola, which it is currently trying to acquire for $12.5 billion.

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