Motorola, Verizon May Bring Android Tablet To Market


It’s getting hard to get through a day without a new tablet PC rumor materializing, and the latest has Motorola and Verizon teaming up for a tablet that'll be optimized for television viewing.

The Verizon-Motorola tablet will feature a sleek, thin design with a 10-inch screen, and it'll run Google's Android OS, the Financial Times reported Tuesday. The tablet could be available in the U.S. as soon as this fall, according to the report, which quoted sources briefed on the plans.

This latest would-be challenger to Apple's iPad will support Adobe Flash and be integrated with Verizon's FiOS digital television service, according to the report. Verizon and Motorola couldn't be reached for comment on the purported tablet.

Verizon and Motorola have a pretty good thing going with Android smartphones, especially the frighteningly popular Droid X, and so it wouldn't be surprising to see them try to duplicate this success on tablets. The two companies have both spoken openly about the potential they see in the tablet category.

But while there's a lot of excitement about tablets right now, Apple is the only company that's been able to deliver a tightly integrated user experience which is tied to a wildly popular mobile apps marketplace. Google's Android Marketplace is growing, but it can't be considered the cultural phenomenon that the App Store has become.

From a developer standpoint, the open source aspect of Android will appeal to those who don’t want to deal with the hoops Apple makes them jump through. But people aren't buying Android devices to get access to the Android Marketplace, at least not yet.

Google's apps store hasn't yet generated the kind of drawing power that's convincing people to buy iPhones and iPads just so they can get their hands on the latest -- and in many cases, utterly useless -- mobile apps.

Until there are compelling apps purpose-built for Android tablets, the initial wave of devices probably aren't going to cause people to line up the night before their release outside of Verizon stores. They may sell, and they'll certainly be attractive, but challenging the iPad is another story.