Google to Launch Android-Powered Notebook in Q3 2013
In an attempt to gain greater control of the notebook market, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) may release an Android-powered laptop in the third quarter.
According to DigiTimes, the company's existing line of notebooks -- known as Chromebooks -- will surpass the one million mark in 2013.
A previous report indicated that Google has only sold 500,000 units, but DigiTimes believed that new, unspecified promotions will help sell additional Chromebooks in 2013.
Even if it does cross the one million mark, Google will still reportedly ship a Chromebook competitor in the late third or early fourth quarter -- presumably titled 'Androidbook.' Powered by Android (and likely featuring a touch screen), the Androidbook will be a fully-functional, mobile OS-based laptop.
As an Android device, this machine could feasibly run all of the hundreds of thousands of apps that are already available, instantly dwarfing the tiny lineup of apps that were built for Chromebooks.
This may not be designed as a Chromebook replacement, however. While Google could merge Chrome and Android together (as previously speculated), the company is likely to continue pushing both formats separately this year.
Up until the Chromebook Pixel arrived, Google had pushed its notebooks as cheap, first-time or secondary machines. The company launched a new campaign last fall to heavily promote the device's attributes -- most notably the price. Chromebooks can be purchased for as low as $199. That is significantly lower than the $300 and $400 price tag that accompanied netbooks (small, inexpensive laptops) when they were first released last decade.
While Chromebooks are fairly inexpensive, they have not experienced the sudden price drops that have accompanied the tablet industry. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) sells the bare-bones, standard-definition Kindle Fire for just $159. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) will charge $10 more for its first Android tablet.
At those prices, Google may have a difficult time convincing consumers that they should purchase a Chromebook.
This could be why Google is expected to launch an Androidbook: to provide consumers with the best of all three worlds (low price, Android apps and a familiar touch interface).
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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