Google’s tablet is coming in six months. But what about the Chromebook?

Eric Schmidt says that a Google tablet will come out within six months, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. Here it is in English, thanks to Google Translate.

Forced to decide: Google Tablet or Chromebook?

The iPad cut into netbook sales. The Chromebook is Google’s version of a netbook, so will Google’s tablet cut into Chromebook sales?

The tablet will probably be more expensive than the Chromebook, forcing customers to choose between two Google products: a cheaper Chromebook with a keyboard, or a tablet with a touchscreen.

The paradox of choice

When faced with too many options, customers often give up and choose something else… what they’re used to, or what everybody else has, or whatever’s cheaper.

“A 2000 study by Iyengar and colleagues in an upscale California grocery found that consumers were 10 times more likely to purchase jam when offered six kinds instead of 24. In other words, faced with too many choices, some threw up their hands and opted to buy no jam.” — LA Times

Google is only offering two options instead of 24, but when a customer is thinking about buying this tablet, they may also think:

“Well, the Chromebook is only $300, has the same or better specs, and includes a keyboard. Maybe that’s more practical. Or maybe I’ll just get an iPad. I know more people with iPads.”

(See also: The paradox of choice, a 20-minute TED talk by Barry Schwartz.)

Google wants you to have more options

Even if Google’s tablet cuts into Chromebook sales, Google won’t worry about the Chromebook.

Samsung and Acer make the hardware for the Chromebook. They would be more concerned about Google tablets eating into their sales. Google just makes the Chrome OS. If people use their software, Google is happy.

Google would try to make both the Chromebook and the tablet a good option, but they won’t choose for you.

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