from December 2011, iPad
Erik Schmidt, former CEO and now Chairman of Google, proudly announced that within 6 months, "We [Google] in the next six months plan to market a tablet of the highest quality." Translation can be found here from the Italian site Corriere.it.
On the surface it would appear that Google is going to compete with its recently acquired Motorola Mobility division, which also manufactures tablets that use Google's Android OS. In reality, the forthcoming product (along with Schmidt's initial announcement) should be viewed as nothing more than hype for Google's latest Android 4.5/5.0 tablet OS, due to hit the market in the June time frame.
The iPod accessory market is huge and very profitable. Most of the market is based on the docking connector or cable. Those docking stations were nice when it was an iPod. Now, as the iPhones replace iPods, that same connector is a pain because users do not want to leave their phone in one spot.
That is all changing with the release of AirPlay and Bluetooth 4.0. These two technologies will make manufacturers very happy, as users replace their old docking station setups with new wireless versions.
A recent article by CIO.com titled, "Apple in the Enterprise: Breaking Microsoft's Grip", makes the keen observation that Microsoft is starting to lose their dominant grip in the corporate space. Apple's iPhone and iPad are breaching corporations the same way that Research In Motions Blackberry's did — through the Sales & Marketing Door. iPad's and iPhone's work well on most corporate networks, so it's been difficult for the IT department to prohibit the use of iOS devices within sales and marketing groups. The result has been an explosion of Apple's iOS devices being used in Microsoft's seemingly impenetrable fortress: corporate environments.