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Rumours are swirling that Verizon is developing a tablet computer to tackle the iPad - AT&T hegemony in the US.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam is suggesting an alliance with Google to develop an Android-based tablet.

In a clear attempt to play catch-up with rival AT&T, part of the plan involves replacing their CDMA-based infrastructure with a GSM system - making the company compatible with most of the rest of the world.

"What do we think the next big wave of opportunities are?" Mr. McAdam said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "We're working on tablets together, for example. We're looking at all the things Google has in its archives that we could put on a tablet to make it a great experience."

Interestingly, nearly a year ago Google announced their Chrome OS which was expected to be the platform for such devices, but the rise of Android out of the smartphone environment seems to have pushed Chrome OS to one side.

According to CNet, Google responded with a very neutral statement on the subject:

"Android is a free, open source mobile platform. This means that anyone can take the Android platform and add code or download it to create a mobile device without restrictions. The Android smartphone platform was designed from the beginning to scale downward to feature phones and upward to MID and netbook-style devices. We look forward to seeing what contributions are made and how an open platform spurs innovation, but we have nothing to announce at this time."

Now who is iTWire to complain about recycling; but this looks amazingly like a statement Google made some months ago is a rather different context.  Commenting upon the rather parallel paths being blazed by both Chrome OS and Android in August last year, Google spokesperson Eitan Bencuya noted:

"The Android smartphone platform was designed from the beginning to scale downward to feature phones and upward to MID and netbook-style devices. We look forward to seeing what contributions are made and how an open platform spurs innovation."

We await further announcements from Verizon (and further recycling from Google) with interest.

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David Heath

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David Heath has over 25 years experience in the IT industry, specializing particularly in customer support, security and computer networking. Heath has worked previously as head of IT for The Television Shopping Network, as the network and desktop manager for Armstrong Jones (a major funds management organization) and has consulted into various Australian federal government agencies (including the Department of Immigration and the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence). He has also served on various state, national and international committees for Novell Users International; he was also the organising chairman for the 1994 Novell Users' Conference in Brisbane. Heath is currently employed as an Instructional Designer, building technical training courses for industrial process control systems.

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