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Google and Verizon building iPad competitor

May 11, 2010

Verizon Wireless Chief Executive Lowell McAdam confirmed today that they were working with Google to build a competitor to the iPad.

McAdam, in an interview with the WSJ, said that tablets are part of the "next big wave of opportunities," and that "work on a tablet is part of a deepening relationship between the largest U.S. wireless carrier  and Google."

It isn't certain whether the tablets would be based on Google's ChromeOS or Android OS though the Journal mentioned Android in the article.

He added, "We're looking at all the things Google (goog) has in its archives that we could put on a tablet to make it a great experience."<!-- more -->

Verizon(vz) declined to comment on a timeline for release of a Google tablet nor which manufacturer would make it.

Though many US consumers want to see Apple (aapl) bring their iProducts to Verizon's network, the two companies have had a contentious relationship.   It started last year with Verizon's Christmas ads that poked fun at the iPhone.  Apple has fired back with commercials that tout AT&T's (t) ability to use the web while on a call -- Verizon's CDMA data network stops when a call comes in.

More recently, rumors that Verizon's branding agency, Landor, was working on an iPhone HD have sprung up, even while details of AT&T and Apple's five-year agreement have been unearthed in court documents.

The iPad was also rumored to be shopped to Verizon even as Apple and AT&T were hammering out an exclusive launch agreement.

HP (hp) is also interested in the tablet field, first with its Windows 7 Slate, and more recently with a recently acquired Palm WebOS-based product codenamed 'hurricane' which is rumored to be released in Q3 2010.

HTC, who makes a majority of Google's Android phones and Archos who currently make Android tablets would be likely candidates for the Android tablets.  Verizon also has a strong relationship with Motorola, another possible tablet manufacturer.

Google spokesman Andy House said, "Android is a free, open source mobile platform. This means that anyone can take the Android platform and add code or download it to create a mobile device without restrictions. The Android smartphone platform was designed from the beginning to scale downward to feature phones and upward to MID and netbook-style devices. We look forward to seeing what contributions are made and how an open platform spurs innovation, but we have nothing to announce at this time."

Below is a ChomeOS tablet concept from Google.

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