Google is working on a Nexus tablet

If you’ve been waiting for an Android tablet that Google can stamp its own seal of approval on, 2012 will be your year.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in a recent interview, “In the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality,” as quoted by the UK website Telegraph.

Although there are dozens of Android devices to choose from, those carrying the “Nexus” label are ones that Google has actually had a hand in developing.

As such, they’re treated as the poster children for Android and are always at the top of the list for software upgrades. Now, that same level of dedication is coming to the tablet world.

It’s a response to the fact that Android tablets have failed to capture a significant part of the market, and the penetration they’ve had has come solely from volume, not because of any singular standout device.

The Kindle Fire, which was just released for the holiday season, is poised to become the first de facto Android tablet, but at $199 it is an entry-level device and not equipped to take on the iPad, which is the goal for most Android tablet manufacturers.

Google acquired Motorola Mobility earlier this year in a $12.5 billion deal, and is expected to ramp up its presence in the physical device segment rapidly in 2012 and beyond.

So a Nexus tablet could bring what everyone has been looking for – a high-end tablet designed to take Android to its absolute maximum potential and be a serious competitor to the iPad.

Of note, Google also worked with Motorola to design the Xoom tablet, which hasn’t garnered any significant traction. But with the new Motorola acquisition, the expertise of both companies will likely be taken to a new level in the coming months.