Motorola prepping Android tablet with Verizon TV service

A report published by the Financial Times indicates Verizon and Motorola are planning a new tablet device able to play television content, with a public launch expected sometime this fall.

Motorola currently makes TV set-top boxes for FiOS subscribers and the tablet service is expected to be related to the Verizon FiOS digital TV service.  The device is expected to ship with the Google Android operating system, including support for the Android Marketplace to allow for an impressive selection of add-on applications.

Motorola tablet prototype, showed off at CES 2010

The new device will include two cameras, with the rear-facing lens designed for taking photos, while the front-facing camera is geared towards video calling.  The tablet should be lighter and thinner than the iPad, with a custom feature so information can be shared wirelessly with other electronics.

Unlike the iPad, Motorola’s new tablet will support Adobe Flash, which should help increase popularity among tech-savvy consumers.

Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha promised a tablet device could be available before the end of 2010, but some bloggers/analysts have been skeptical.  It was rumored in May that the device would have a screen between 7- and 10-inches.

Research In Motion, HP, Google, and other manufacturers are dabbling with research & development for tablet devices — and the companies expect a tough battle with the iPad.  The Apple iPad tablet has been extremely popular and has greatly helped Apple, but Verizon and Motorola decided to partner up for a very specific reason.

Motorola’s decision to work with Verizon Wireless will give the phone maker a strong presence in the tablet market without interfering with pay TV providers.  Verizon currently has around 25 percent control of the US TV market, and has 29 percent control of nationwide broadband Internet.

I think partnering with Verizon is a smart business move that will eventually pay off for Motorola.  The company will continue to promote Android and its own software on mobile phones, but this is a completely new market Motorola is trying to work into.