We’ve been hearing reports of a Google Nexus Tablet for months now, however the reports are suggesting it may be coming sooner, rather than later. Android and Me claims to have solid sources within Asus that report a $149 quad-core Nexus tablet is a “done deal”, however The Verge is suggesting it might be closer to $199. Either way this is a great price for a 7-inch pure Google tablet, and will be an important step if they are going to protect the Google marketplace from the Amazon onslaught.
That is of course, assuming the rumors are true.
You could make the argument a Nexus tablet’s primary competitor is the iPad, but lets face it, that war is over for now. The battle in the short term will be fought for second place, and right now Amazon’s highly customized version of Android complete with a replacement content ecosystem is running away with the show. Google’s Android chief Andy Rubin claimed 2012 would be the year they doubled down on consumer tablets, and the Nexus tablet may be the first serious competitor for the Kindle Fire.
Reports are suggesting that Asus will be the OEM manufacturer for the first wave of Nexus tablets, and that NVidia’s Tegra 3 got the boot in favor of Qualcomm in order to keep costs as low as possible. Samsung may be the current king of the hill when it comes to Android tablets, however it’s still a pretty small market that is aimed at the high end. If Google puts its marketing muscle behind a less expensive tablet it could help drive prices down, regardless of Asus’s commercial success with this first attempt. An advantage Android needs now, more than ever.