All eyes are on Google this morning as the company gets set for its keynote at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco. Much like Microsoft last week, the search company is widely expected to unveil plans to release its own tablet computer.
However, Google’s target may not be Microsoft’s Surface or Apple’s iPad as much as it is Amazon’s Kindle Fire, according to a report by Reuters this morning, quoting an anonymous executive with Asus who confirms the company is working on a tablet with Google.
The initiative is “targeting Amazon,” the executive tells the news service. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is also based on Google Android, with Amazon’s own interface on top. One advantage for Google in developing its own tablet would be simplifying the process of software updates.
That’s in line with a Bloomberg report yesterday saying that Google and Asus will unveil a $199 Android tablet with a 7-inch screen, matching the Kindle Fire. The tablet is expected to use the Nexus brand that Google has previously used for phones.
Gizmodo Australia published what it described as images and specs from a training document for the Nexus 7 tablet on Monday, including the image above.
Microsoft hasn’t yet disclosed pricing for its Surface tablets, which are expected to be released this fall. However, Google’s reported decision to target the Kindle Fire could leave Microsoft and Apple fighting it out at the high end of the market.
Sales estimates showed the Kindle Fire slipping to less than 4 percent of the worldwide tablet market this year after a strong debut during the holiday season.
The Google I/O keynote starts at 9:30 a.m. Pacific, live streaming here.