By Michael Tarsala
I can't vouch for the specs at all, nor precisely when Google (GOOG) will make its announcement.
But there's one guy I trust more than any of 'em to give me the scoop on tablets and notebooks, and that's DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim. And he tells me it's coming. In fact, the Google tablet is already being produced.
“I don't know the timing of an announcement exactly, but our supply chain indications are that a product is in production and is ready to be released,” he told me on Tuesday.
I didn't hound Shim on the specs, but he did say Google is making a 7-inch tablet (1280x800). so Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Fire-size in that regard. And it will run the Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
Make no mistake, the press is guessing a bit that the announcement will come tomorrow, given that the company already has the masses assembled for its conference.
But if you think it makes sense from a timing standpoint, it makes even more sense from a business perspective.
Here you have Microsoft (MSFT) making its first serious foray into tablets last week. To an extent, yes. Google has to answer.
More importantly, Google and Microsoft have been watching Apple (AAPL) rake in the profits on tablets by owning the hardware, as well as the software and the product distribution.
I think it's that business model that Google will try to copy, not anything technology-related.
One of the other things cited by other media is that the new Google device will come in at around a $200 price point, vs. $399 for the Apple iPad II.
“It's possible, but that is a tough price point to make any money,” Shim said.
So if the pricing is indeed that low, here is the upshot for investors:
If Google can really make inroads with a popular low-priced tablet, I think that has more of a negative weighting on Apple sentiment than it would a positive one for Google.
Photo by: Ovandevelde