Google is said to be preparing to launch a 12.85-inch Chrome OS touch-based notebook with electronic stylus that will be sold under its own brand.
The Chinese language Commercial Times, based in Taiwan, has published reports indicating that Google awarded a touchscreen contract to electronics maker Wintek and that Compal Electronics will be responsible for assembling a Google-branded notebook using the touchscreens.
The report indicates that Compal will begin shipping the devices by the end of the year, continuing through the first quarter of 2013. The initial run is said to be relatively small — 20 million units.
That would be a huge shipment by last year’s standards. In November 2011, Taiwan-based Digitimes said that Acer had sold only 5,000 Chromebooks and that Samsung had sold even fewer. Google has not reported how many Chromebooks have been shipped or are in use, but Sundar Pichai, senior VP of Chrome, has in the past stressed that Google is committed to Chrome OS.
Google’s Android devices have been selling a bit better: Asus, which makes the Google-branded Nexus 7, last month said that Nexus 7 sales approached a million a month in its third quarter.
But Google’s persistence with Chrome OS — or perhaps just the affordable pricing of Chrome OS devices and an expanded set of retail partners — might be starting to pay off. Samsung’s recently revised Chromebook continues to be the top-seller in Amazon’s laptop category, a position it has maintained for the past two weeks.
Read more: Information Week