Verizon And Google Tablet Smacks Of Vaporware - InformationWeek

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5/12/2010
10:07 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Verizon And Google Tablet Smacks Of Vaporware

Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam recently let it slip that his company is working with Google to bring a tablet computer to market. If by "working with Google," McAdam really means "I Googled Steve Jobs' phone number" then perhaps I'll buy the story. Otherwise...

Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam recently let it slip that his company is working with Google to bring a tablet computer to market. If by "working with Google," McAdam really means "I Googled Steve Jobs' phone number" then perhaps I'll buy the story. Otherwise......is feels like pure FUD to me.

McAdam was speaking to the Wall Street Journal when he casually said, "What do we think the next big wave of opportunities are? We're working on tablets [with Google], for example. We're looking at all the things Google has in its archives that we could put on a tablet to make it a great experience."

He offered no other details about the tablet. No manufacturer info, no availability date, no features, nada, zip, zilch.

I don't doubt that Google and Verizon Wireless are discussing future product roadmaps. If fact, McAdam's statement came as a response to a question about Google's Android smartphones. We can probably say with 100% certainty that Verizon plans to offer more Google Android products in the future. Will all of them be smartphones, or perhaps will some be tablets?

Verizon Wireless rarely announces products before they are ready to hit store shelves. Sure, the social networking team will work up some buzz with cryptic tweets ("There's a Storm coming") but otherwise it is tight-lipped about product announcements. For the company's CEO to remark as he did on bringing a tablet computer to market just doesn't fit with Verizon's usual M.O.

Also, according to a number of recent reports, Verizon may still feel sore at AT&T and Apple for their success with the iPhone and iPad. Reports have suggested that AT&T's willingness to bend over backward to meet Apple's data plan costs have cemented both the iPad and iPhone to AT&T's network for the foreseeable future. Add that to the recently discovered court documents suggesting that AT&T will have the iPhone to itself until 2012, and you have the critical mass needed for some classic FUD dispersal.

Verizon needs to let its customers and investors know that cool stuff is on the way. What easier way for Verizon to do that than by saying a Google tablet (real or not) is on the way?

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