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Google tablet could be out in the next six months, says Schmidt

It seems like Google may no longer be content to simply watch from the sidelines as the likes of Apple and Amazon go from strength to strength in the tablet market, with executive chairman Eric Schmidt telling Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera this week that “in the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality.” He added that introducing such a device would be guaranteed to increase the “brutal competition between Apple and Google Android.”

The Next Web advised a certain amount of caution as to the precise meaning of Schmidt’s words as they were the result of being run through Google’s own translation software (so come on Eric, has Google Translate hit the mark here?).

However, Schmidt’s comments could well mean the Mountain View company is considering entering the volatile tablet market with the launch of a device in partnership with an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in the first half of next year.

The web giant is already working alongside Samsung with its Nexus range of smartphones, with the just-launched Galaxy Nexus model (the first Android 4.0 phone) creating quite a stir. With that in mind, it’s not a big stretch to imagine the two companies working together on a Nexus tablet.

If Google’s merger with Motorola Mobility goes through it would have another option for a tablet-making partnership, although last week it was reported that the proposed merger was in a spot of bother.

In the translated interview with the Italian newspaper, Schmidt had nothing but praise for the late Apple boss Steve Jobs, calling him “the Michelangelo of our time.”

He added, “Steve has realized the revolutionary potential of the tablet and has created an amazing product like the iPad.”

While many companies have struggled in the cut-throat tablet market, Apple’s iPad and, more recently, Amazon’s Kindle Fire are selling well, though the two devices are placed at opposite ends of the tablet spectrum. One wonders if there is even any room for a Google tablet.