The Wall Street Journal reported that Google could begin selling tablets that are co-branded with its hardware manufacturer directly to consumers via an online store comparable to Apple's and Amazon's. Rather than just one tablet, however, Google is expected to offer several devices from a range of manufacturers.
Motorola (which Google is in the process of acquiring), Samsung, and ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. (Asus) are possible hardware partners; they would be responsible for designing the tablet. Asus, apparently, is on deck to offer the first tablet.
The Journal's sources suggested that Google may somehow subsidize the cost of tablets, perhaps through on-device advertising. Google may also back up its online tablet store with a massive marketing campaign to raise awareness, including television spots, web-based ads, and promotions on the Google Play Store.