Motorola, Verizon to launch TV tablet, report says

Reports of an Android-based tablet from Motorola and Verizon have surfaced claiming the 10-inch device may be on store shelves by the fall.

Motorola's tablet would be a direct competitor to Apple's iPad. But unlike Apple's tablet, consumers would be able to watch television on the Motorola device thanks to integration with Verizon's FIOS digital TV service, according to the Financial Times.

The Times doesn't provide any detailed specs for the tablet, but says the device would support Flash video --another feature the iPad lacks.

The 10-inch device would also have a rear-facing camera for taking snapshots and a front-facing camera for videoconferencing. You would also be able to turn the tablet into a Wi-Fi hotspot, according to the Times, suggesting the device would likely have 3G connectivity provided by Verizon.

Reports have been circulating for some time that both Verizon and Motorola were planning Android-based tablets. In May, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told The Wall Street Journal the carrier was collaborating with Google to produce an Android tablet that would compete directly with the iPad. McAdam did not say anything about a partnership with Motorola during the interview.

Later that month, Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha said during an investor conference that Motorola was working on "a companion 7- to 10-inch device...as an augmentation to your TV experience." The Motorola exec also said to expect the new tablet "in a very short period of time." Jha did not mention a partnership with Verizon.

An Android tablet from Motorola and Verizon could be an exciting prospect. Especially if the device is able to stream live television and access Flash-based video Websites such as Hulu and Amazon Video On Demand. If the rumored Motorola tablet is integrated with Verizon's digital TV service, I also have to wonder whether it will also support Google TV--an Android-based platform Google hopes will finally merge the Web with your living room television.

The device may be just rumors at this point, but a Motorola-Verizon partnership would make a lot of sense. The two companies are both heavily invested in the Android platform, and have already worked closely on popular Android products such as the newly launched Droid X. So far, there's no word on pricing or storage capabilities for the rumored tablet.

If Motorola's tablet makes an appearance this fall it may not be the only Android-based iPad competitor out this year. Samsung has invited the media to a press event scheduled for next Wednesday where the company is expected to unveil the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy tablet.

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul).

This story, "Motorola, Verizon to launch TV tablet, report says" was originally published by PCWorld.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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