Google targeting Apple iPad with Chrome tablet?

Google Android was always going to be the heart of many Linux-based iPad like devices. That's not news. What is news is that Google and Verizon appear to be working together to create a Chrome operating system-based tablet.

According to a report from the Download Squad, HTC is building the Chrome OS tablet. The device will be sold in partnership with Verizon starting on November 26th. That date is already engraved in every retailer's heart as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and usually the biggest shopping day of the year.

After those nuggets of news, everything else that's been written about the Google Chrome tablet has been pure speculation. Yet I can believe this core of the story. Google already worked with HTC to deliver one of the first Android smartphones: the currently developer-only Nexus one.

On the carrier side, everyone who pays any attention to telephone company business-buddy relationships knows that Verizon and Google have been working closely together since the announcement of their net neutrality plan. So sure, the business relationships to make a Chrome tablet a reality are in place.

Besides, I think Google wants to jump-start the Android/Chrome tablet market. The very first Android tablets, like the Augsen GenTouch78, have been less than impressive. Just the very hint that Google may be making an iPad competitor already has buzz going.

That last part may also be important in its own right. Lately, Apple and Google have been getting along like cats and dogs. I think Google would be very, very — one more time, with feeling — very happy to put a spanner in Apple's hopes for an iPad Christmas.

I'd say the odds are good we'll see a Chrome tablet under some of our holidays trees at year's end. What do you think?

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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