Report: Motorola, Verizon prepping media tablet

The Android tablet would aim for the same audience as Apple's iPad and could land in stores this fall, according to the Financial Times.

Is this the Motorola-Verizon tablet? Nvidia showed this Motorola-Verizon collaboration at CES in January.
Is this the Motorola-Verizon tablet? Nvidia showed this Motorola-Verizon collaboration at CES in January. Screenshot by Erica Ogg/CNET

Motorola and Verizon are working together to produce a tablet specifically for watching television content, according to a report in the Financial Times on Tuesday.

The tablet is said to have a 10-inch screen and will use Google's Android operating system. The premier feature of the tablet will be the ability to access Verizon's FiOS cable service from it, according to the FT's anonymous sources. The tablet is said to be "thinner and lighter than the iPad," and will allow tethering. It will also support Adobe Flash, according to the report. There will also be two cameras, one front-facing for video conferencing, and another on the back for photos.

Though the report did not have the name of the device or a price, it could be for sale this fall in the U.S.

Verizon declined to comment.

Motorola has talked of a tablet in the past, and there was even a demonstration of a prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. But there were several Android tablets announced at the same show, though very few have yet to hit stores shelves. Archos was the first in late 2009, and Dell introduced its Streak last week, though that's more of a phone than a tablet .

Since Apple's iPad went on sale in early April, the company has had trouble keeping up with demand for it. Apple said in late July that it has sold more than 3 million of the devices in about four months. Seeing the response from consumers to the device has led several other consumer electronics companies to talk of making competing media tablets , including Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and most recently, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion .

Motorola-Verizon's would certainly stand out in one way: being able to access pay TV service from the device directly from a provider like Verizon. Movies and TV shows can be downloaded to the iPad from Apple's iTunes desktop software and the iTunes iPad app, as well as streamed through video applications from Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu.

Though not for lack of trying, Apple has not yet been able to procure any kind of all-you-can-eat subscription plan deal from the major content owners. An Apple cloud-based streaming video service is in the works, though it's not clear how soon it will be ready .

 

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