updated 06:22 pm EST, Mon November 26, 2012
Sources say Google prepping bigger move into hardware
Google is said to be preparing to join manufacturing partners Samsung and Acer in producing hardware to run its Chrome OS. The latest rumors have a 12.85-inch, touch-enabled notebook to be sold under the Google brand. The rumored notebook would supposedly debut in the first quarter of 2013.
Beyond those specs, little is known about the rumored notebook. The report from Chinese Commercial Times says that Taiwanese manufacturers have been contacted to produce the devices, with initial shipments said to have started in November ahead of next year's launch.
If true, the emergence of a new Google-branded Chrome OS device could represent a troubling development for the search giant's manufacturing partners. Google has already taken a big step into the manufacturing sector with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, bringing it into competition with the makers of devices that run its Android operating system.
The Chrome OS platform -- which essentially uses Google's Chrome browser as the basis for a light operating system -- struggled upon its initial release, with manufacturers suspected to have only sold only a few thousand units. Chromebooks were largely panned in reviews due to their being priced in the range of a standard notebook while being unable to approach normal notebooks in terms of performance.
This year, though, has seen brighter fortunes for Chromebooks, with online retailers selling out of units from Samsung shortly after their release. The line's success so far likely stems from Samsung and Acer pricing the devices in the $200 to $300 range.
Google has sought to build on the initial successes of the Chromebook line, debuting new ads touting the line's pricing. The search giant also recently took over displays in Times Square, allowing passersby to use Chromebooks to post content to the overhead displays.