Google is readying its own branded 7-inch Android tablet to be manufactured by ASUS, according to the New York Times. The paper cited an anonymous Google employee, who also confirmed reports that the device would come equipped with a 7-inch screen, therefore competing directly with the Kindle Fire as opposed to the iPad.
Additionally, Google will be selling the devices in its own native store, reports the Wall Street Journal. No timetable has been announced for the launch of either the device or the store, but they could very well coincide with the impending release of Google’s new mobile OS, Jelly Bean.
The move by Google won’t be its first foray into branded mobile hardware production. Its Nexus One smartphone was released to great reviews in January 2010, but ultimately the buzz fizzled out.