The Financial Times is reporting that Motorola has teamed up with Verizon Wireless to develop a Android-based tablet device that would allow users to watch television on it. While it’s not clear if this is a mobile DTV-based offering or what, it appears somehow tied to Verizon’s FiOS entertainment service.
The device would have a 10-inch screen — which is in line with Apple’s iPad and BlackBerry’s apparently upcoming tablet device — and would likely launch in the fall. That autumn release date is also what RIM is targeting, meaning it could be an all out battle royale for tablet supremacy this winter.
Motorola has made it no secret that they are lusting after carving out their own spot in the tablet market, one that is all but owned by Apple’s iPad at the moment. The television functionality, depending on how it works, could provide a crucial differentiating point in attracting consumers to the device. Also working with Verizon Wireless, who currently has the most widespread 3G network, is also a crucial selling point.
The device will also support Flash, just like RIM’s tablet, which means the iPad again stands alone as the only modern tablet device not to support the now near-ubiquitous multimedia format.
My question is now with all these competitors, is Apple itself prepared for trench warfare? Obviously the easiest way to compete with Apple is on price — the “Apple tax” is well documented. But functionality of the iPad is going to have to also increase, meaning we may see new versions of the device sooner than the typical upgrade cycle from Cupertino.
Personally, a price break is what I’m waiting for.