This isn’t the first rumor about a possible Nexus tablet. In fact, ever since Google launched Android 3 Honeycomb last year, the OS version specifically tailored for tablet use, we’ve been hearing that the company would eventually release a Nexus tablet. The Nexus line of smartphones has so far been showcasing the ‘pure Google experience’ and, in the case of the Nexus One even brought a great new hardware feature to phones – the 1 GHz processor.
Now we’re hearing that the first Nexus tablet might also be very impressive, but for an entirely different reason. According to two ‘industry sources’ who spoke to Android and Me during MWC, Google still wants a Nexus tablet on the market. And this year.
The company apparently approached Asus after it saw a $249 7-inch tablet showcased at CES, which features a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. Google’s goal is to sell a similarly-specced tablet for just $199, matching Amazon’s Kindle Fire in price. That has so far been the best selling Android tablet, despite only being on sale in the US, but the Kindle Fire comes with a forked version of Android and thus doesn’t have the Google services suite preinstalled.
In a similar move to what Barnes and Noble did with its Nook tablet to make it a $199 product (the initial price was $249), the Nexus tablet might come with a small amount of internal storage space. Assuming that it won’t be too small (like under 4 GB), and if it will also ship with a microSD card slot, I don’t think most people would mind. Especially since they’d be getting a quad-core tablet, complete with Google services and guaranteed software updates for just $199.
So, to recap: an Asus-made Nexus tablet, which may be called Google Play, with a 7-inch 1280×800 touchscreen, Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, and all for $199. Production could start in April, and the tablet could be on the market in June. Perhaps it will be unveiled during Google I/O, the annual developers conference, on June 27.
Oh, and one more thing: an even more crazy-sounding 10-inch $299 version of this tablet could also be in the works.
Then again, all of the above has rumor status for now. There’s certainly a possibility that Google is working on a Nexus tablet. I mean, it makes perfect sense from their point of view. Android tablet sales (non-Kindle Fire) have been lackluster at best, and such an offering would clearly help sales and recognition of ‘Android tablets’ as a distinct product category. But we’ll just have to wait and see how (or if) this pans out.
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