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Google tablet officially coming in next six months

Googleboss Eric Schmidt has revealed the Big G will launch an iPad rival tablet within the next six months.

Google takes on the Apple iPad next year. Googleboss Eric Schmidt has revealed the Big G will launch a tablet within the next six months.

"In the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality," Schmidt told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. He also said Apple founder and visionary Steve Jobs was "the Michelangelo of our time".

So Google will "market" a high-quality tablet before summer 2012. Note the use of the word "market", as opposed to "make". That suggests Google will throw its advertising weight behind a tablet built by a hardware company, just as it does with its Nexus smart phones.

Note too the use of "highest quality". That means the Google tablet will most likely directly challenge the iPad rather than try to scoop up people who want a cheaper Apple alternative, the strategy employed by Amazon with the affordable Kindle Fire tablet.

Google backs a flagship smart phone for every new generation of its mobile software Android, most recently the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for the new Ice Cream Sandwich update. Previous Nexus flagship phones include the Google Nexus S and Google Nexus One.

Ice Cream Sandwich is the first version of Android designed to work on both tablets and smart phones, so the way is clear for a Nexus tablet alongside the Nexus phone. Perhaps it will be built by Motorola, since Google has just bought Motorola; and even before that buyout was on the cards, Moto was first choice for Honeycomb, the tablet-only version of Android that made its debut on the original Motorola Xoom.

Google also wants to challenge Apple's Siri with its own voice command technology -- could that be the rumoured Siri rival Majel?

Should Google be feeling lucky? Or will the search giant search in vain for a decent iPad rival? Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook page.