Verizon and Google are working on a tablet computer that will compete with Apple’s iPad, Verizon confirmed on Tuesday.
The wireless operator would not provide details about the device, and Google said it had nothing to announce. The news was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal, which said Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam mentioned the product during an interview.
The tablet presumably would run Google’s Android mobile-phone operating system, which can be—and already has been—used to run a tablet. Archos offers a small Android tablet, and rumors of Android tablets from Motorola and Dell have been circulating for months.
AT&T currently has the exclusive carrier deal for the popular iPad tablet in the U.S. Verizon may hope that a tablet created in partnership with Google could compete with the iPad.
Verizon has said it is interested in carrying Apple’s popular iPhone, but so far AT&T continues to hold an exclusive grip on the phone in the U.S. When Verizon launched the Motorola Droid, running Android, it positioned it as a competitor to the iPhone. Selling an Android-powered tablet may be an extension of that strategy.
Apple said it sold 1 million iPads in the first 28 days the device was available. That sales figure, however, almost exclusively accounts for the Wi-Fi-only version of the device, since the 3G version became available only on the final day of that period. Apple has not yet said how many of the 3G versions have sold since they went on sale April 30.