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Google tablet to tackle Kindle Fire not iPad

Ad giant's seven-incher to cost $199?

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The latest scuttlebutt from Taiwan: Google's rumoured tablet will now take on Amazon's 7in Kindle Fire rather than attempt to loosen Apple's tight hold on the market.

Google is shaking its head, of course, but rumours have long persisted that it's working on an own-brand tablet.

Since the advertising giant is on its way to owning Motorola, which sells tablets, you might think it has less need to do so than it did before the purchase.

But, no, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told an Italian newspaper last month that the company will have a tablet out within six month.

Lending credence to that: there has been a rush on 7in LCDs of late.

The latest rumour has it that the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich-based Google tablet - branded Nexus, presumably - will sell for $199, what Amazon is asking for the Fire. That may be Google's new target but it will still strike at the iPad's dominance given the price differential between that and the $499 Apple wants for an entry level iPad 2.

Of course, if Apple does indeed release a 'retina display' iPad 3 in February/March, that will put some clear blue water between its offering and Google's, leaving the search engine firm to battle it out for the low end with Amazon. ®

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