Google's challenge to Apple's iPad is set to arrive on November 26, 2010, when the company reportedly plans to launch a Chrome OS tablet in conjunction with Verizon.
It's likely to be one of many such devices that will debut toward the end of the year.
The tablet is being manufactured by HTC, according to Download Squad, an online news site.
Chrome OS is a Web-centric operating system that Google plans to release in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Google declined to confirm the report. "We don't comment on rumor or speculation," a company spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.
HTC is not on the list of Chrome OS partners that Google published in July 2009: Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba. However, HTC has a strong relationship with Google, having manufactured the company's well-regarded but ill-fated Nexus One phone.
HTC is currently being sued by Apple for allegedly infringing the company's iPhone patents; Verizon meanwhile is widely reported to be preparing to offer a CDMA-compatible version of Apple's iPhone on its network.
Given the litigation in the mobile sector at the moment and Apple's relationship with Verizon competitor AT&T, it's perhaps understandable why Google would seek stronger ties with Verizon, as a Chrome OS service provider and as a partner in the recent joint proposal for a new legislative framework for network neutrality.
The pervasive leaks and rumors about products from Google and Apple suggest a deliberate strategy by the two companies and their partners build mind share in the hope that it will turn into market share once actual hardware starts shipping.
Google has been engaged in related market evangelism in Europe this week.
At the Game Developers Conference Europe, which just concluded in Cologne, Germany, two Google developer advocates discussed the Chrome Web Store and how it will serve game developers.
Online gaming site 1Up.com reports that Google game developer advocate Mark DeLoura and Chrome developer advocate Michael Mahemoff pitched the Chrome Web Store as a way to enhance the process of discovering and purchasing Web-based games.
Despite the fact that its search engine can help potential players find Web-based games at no cost, Google believes it will be able to charge for aggregating Web applications and providing an easy-to-use payment structure in conjunction with social features like reviews.
The Chrome Web Store is scheduled to launch in October, presumably in conjunction with a beta version of Chrome OS suitable for consumers. Current test builds of the Chromium OS, the open source project behind Chrome OS, can be downloaded from chromeos.hexxeh.net.