Google Executive Chairman Talks TabletsDecember 19, 2011 11:16 am ·
The headlines began to buzz Monday morning after Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera released an interview with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. After hailing the late Steve Jobs as the “Michelangelo of our time,” the Google Chairman allegedly went on to speak of the search giant’s plan to have a tablet of its own within the next six months.
I say allegedly because it’s currently uncertain as to whether Schmidt was speaking of a tablet made exclusively by Google or if Schmidt was speaking of a partnership approach. Google Translate’s rough translation of the Italian newspaper article makes such details uncertain.
If Google is planning to enter the tablet market for itself, Schmidt’s words come as the latest in an ongoing barrage against longstanding smartphone and tablet rival Apple. In fact, speaking of smartphones, the Google Chairman didn’t miss a chance in the interview to promise “brutal competition between Apple and Google Android.”
“It is capitalism,” Schmidt added.
In addition to a possible new Nexus tablet, Schmidt confirmed rumors of a Google answer to Siri. Although he didn’t confirm the rumored name “Majel,” he did confirm that Google was working on improvements to its voice recognition technology in order to make it “do things similar to Siri.” Despite having “for a long time, the best voice transition software,” Google now appears to be getting its cues—at least when it comes to smartphones—from its chief competitor.
In sum, it seems, regardless of the quality of the Italian-to-English translation, Google is beginning to feel the heat in the smartphone and tablet sectors.
Speaking (again) as one who unabashedly prefers Apple, perhaps Google has finally realized that one of the not-so-secrets to Apple’s success is its literally holistic approach to making its products. Rather than partnering with an OEM as Google typically does, the Apple brand is represented in every component of its iPhone and iPad product lines.
Although Google’s current approach does get its software into a considerable number of name brand devices, the lack of an exclusive line of Google smartphones and tablets poses an arguably unavoidable roadblock for the company if it legitimately wishes to seize the lead from Apple.
In the interest of creating a more competitive marketplace, let us hope that the next six months render an approach by Google which, instead of chasing the success of individual Apple features, mimics the time-tested process that has made Apple the object of so much envy.