After a sluggish beginning, Google seems to start afresh with its tablets. The Internet search giant is now gearing up to sell branded tablets directly to its customers through online stores, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. However, Google has not yet confirmed the report.

The company is rumored to collaborate with the big shots like Samsung and Asus to supply the future tablets. The WSJ report cited its source as people familiar with the matter but could not provide details of the launch.

Google made the same attempt in 2010 when the company co-branded with the HTC Corp and offered a device called the Nexus One on its online portal. The sales continued only till the first half of the year and Google called the venture off by the summer of the same year soon as the sales of other Android-based phones began to take off.

The WSJ report has also indicated the possibility that the Motorola Mobility, the consumer arm of Motorola that Google acquired for $12.5 billion in 2011, could be given the charge of manufacturing Google's own Android tablets.

As of now, the first tablet that is scheduled to hit the Google online store is a Google-Asus-branded tablet.

Meanwhile, Google is expected to launch its next edition of Android OS, version 5.0, dubbed as Jelly Bean this year. Android tablets running on the latest Jelly Bean OS not only will give a major boost to the sales of the Google tablets, but will also relieve the company from the persistent problem of low adoption rates for Android 3 (Honeycomb) and 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Notably, still now most of the currently active Android tablets run either on Android 2.33 (Gingerbread, 58.1%) or Android 2.2 (Froyo, 27.8%).

Without much ado, we know that the biggest competition for the Google tablet would be Apple. Apple, which has just launched a new version of iPad, will control the tablet market with 73-percent share in comparison to a mere 17-percent market share for Android, according to a Gartner report.

Apple is not the sole competitor as Amazon is quite a big game-turner in the low-priced segment of the market. Kindle Fire tablet runs on Android. The online retailer giant has given it a heavily customized version and has provided its tablet apps and services that compete with the Google Play (formerly the Android Market).

While the Android tablets could not make much of an impact in the market, Android phones are still going strong.  Reportedly, Samsung has shipped 5 million of Galaxy Note smartphones since its launch that took place almost in the end of last year.