- Associated Press - Monday, July 9, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Staples office supply stores will sell the Nexus 7, a computer tablet that Google designed to compete against the Kindle Fire and iPad.

Monday’s announcement makes Staples Inc. the second major retailer to embrace the Nexus 7 since Google unveiled the device last month. Video game retailer GameStop Corp. also plans to stock the Nexus 7 in its U.S. stores.

Other merchants are expected to agree to add the Nexus 7 to their store shelves when the tablet ships later this month.

Adding more stores as sellers exposes the Nexus 7 to more shoppers as Google Inc. tries to make a bigger dent in the increasingly important tablet computer market. Google is also peddling the Nexus 7 through its own online store, Google Play.

The Nexus 7 will sell for $199 in an 8-gigabyte model and $249 in a 16-gigabyte model.

The less expensive model matches the same price as the Kindle Fire made by Amazon.com Inc. Like the Kindle Fire, the Nexus 7 has a seven-inch display screen and is tailor-made for video, pictures, books, magazines and newspapers. Both Amazon and Google have set up their devices to funnel sales of books, movies and music to their websites.

The iPad, made by Apple Inc., is larger and more expensive than the tablets from Google and Amazon. It has a 10-inch screen with prices starting at $399 for an older model.

Software maker Microsoft Corp. also is expanding into the tablet market this October when it is planning to release its own iPad alternative, the Surface. Microsoft hasn’t announced a price for the Surface yet. So far, Microsoft hasn’t identified any other places to buy the Surfaces besides its own website and brick-and-mortar stores.

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