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Google Nexus tablet PC to launch in March?

Search engine is thought to working on its own-brand 7in device

Google could be set to launch a 7in tablet PC designed to rival Amazon's Kindle Fire rather than going head-to-head with Apple's iPad.

According to Taiwan-based website Digitimes, the Google Nexus tablet PC looks set to be made available in March or April this year, which means it may well be unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2012 that takes place in Barcelona next month.

Furthermore, the website, which did not name its sources, said the device would run Google Android version 4.0, which is also known as Ice Cream sandwich. Furthermore, it will come with a price tag of less than $199 (£127) ensuring it will rival the Kindle Fire.

The Amazon Kindle Fire is a Wi-Fi only tablet PC powered by a dual-core Texas Instruments Open Multimedia Application processor that is based on an ARM design which can be found in a number of other tablet PCs including Apple's iPad. It's designed for consuming movies, TV shows, music, apps and books, rather than personal computing. The 1024x600 pixel touchscreen display is made from Gorilla Glass and the tablet PC also runs a customised version of Google Android.

The tablet PC was first unveiled in September this year and went on sale in the US on November 15. However, Amazon has remained tight-lipped on when the device will hit UK shores.

In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sea last month, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt revealed the search engine is planning to sell a tablet "in the next six months"  and that would be "of the highest quality."

Schmidt did not provide any further details of what would set the tablet apart from other previous Android tablets such as the Motorola Xoom or the Amazon Kindle Fire.

However, Google Taiwan told Digitimes that the company has never heard about plans to launch its own-brand tablet PC. In 2010, it was widely thought Google was preparing to launch a tablet PC that would run its Chrome Operating System. While the search engine has previously published conceptual images of how a Google-based tablet might look, the device has never been made available.

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