Google Might Be Getting into the Tablet Business Later This YearS

Normally an unmitigated disaster on the scale of the Nexus One would normally give a company pause, but not Google. The search giant is jumping back into competition with Apple and Amazon with potential plans to hock Android tablets on its website.

According to unnamed WSJ sources within Google, the company is currently constructing an online store. Google reportedly won't make the devices itself but will instead sell hardware from its manufacturing partners, Samsung and ASUS. There's no official word yet on a launch date for the store, "people familiar with the matter" have speculated that it will roll out in the middle of the year, around the launch of the new Jelly Bean OS. There's even rumblings that the store's offerings will be subsidized to help compete with the $200 Kindle Fire.

Interesting to see how Google is steadily moving away from the ad-based revenue that has nourished it since its inception and is pushing into the business of selling "stuff." First, Google migrates the Android Marketplace into Play with its a stronger emphasis on content. Now the search company planning to sell hardware as a branded distributor.

It will be interesting to see how Google will compete with Amazon and Apple—the former being renowned for its distribution capabilities and the latter known for its hardware manufacturing. Looks like Google might have it uphill both ways. [Wall Street Journal]