Asus: Building Google's Nexus 7 Was "Like Torture"

Paul Lilly

Asus brings plenty of experience to the tablet building scene, and so it was probably an easy choice for Google to task the company with constructing its Nexus 7 device, which was unveiled yesterday at the Google I/O conference. One thing Asus didn't anticipate, however, is that Google can be a pretty demanding boss. Just ask the engineers involved with making the Nexus 7 a reality.

"Our engineers told me it is like torture," Asus Chairman Jonney Shih told AllThingsD in an interview. "They ask a lot."

For starters, Google only provided Asus with a four-month window to build a working and presumably bug-free product. Asus also had to figure out how to keep costs down so that Google could sell the Nexus 7 for $200. To make it happen, Asus had to keep throwing dozens of engineers into the mix of what was a around-the-clock development cycle, with Google peering over its shoulder at every step of the way.

Giving credit where credit's due, Google's Andy Rubin acknowledged the intense pressure Asus was under.

"I don't think there would have been any other partner that could move that fast," Rubin told AllThingsD .

Rubin went on to explain the motivation behind the Nexus 7, which is that the Android tablet market just isn't at a place Google would like it to be. To get things where they need to be, Google is essentially selling the Nexus 7 at cost through its Google Play store, with the hope that consumers will buy into the ecosystem. It's the same strategy Amazon employs with its Kindle Fire tablet, which has been wildly successful to this point.

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