Gizmodo Australia has today reported that Google’s going to announce a 7-inch, Nexus-branded tablet called the Nexus 7.
According to a leaked document, it’s built by Asus, with a 1.3Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, GeForce 12-core GPU and 1GB of RAM with two different storage variants: 8GB for $US199 and 16GB for $US249.
The announcement of the tablet is expected to come during Google I/O, the company’s conference that is being held in San Francisco and begins on Wednesday.
The screen reported to be an IPS display with a 178-degree viewing angle, running a resolution of 1280×800.
The device will also sport a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. The battery will also give you nine hours worth of operation.
According to The Age, rumours that Google may sell its own tablet have been circulating since late March, so news of a tablet isn’t shocking but the possible details are fresh news.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt said last December that the company would have a “competitive” tablet on the market this year.
Taking into consideration that Android 4.0 addressed many of the platform’s user interface troubles, the Nexus 7 may appeal not only to Android tablet fans but even to those who were considering a similarly priced Amazon Kindle Fire or Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet.
If the leaked documents are correct, the Nexus 7 should offer nearly all of the same functionality and plenty more.
It seems to be clear that a $199 Nexus 7 tablet from would raise the stakes for Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet, which sell at a similar price and screen size, suggests Computer World.
Google acknowledges that the Android strategy of having third-party companies make tablets hasn’t worked, meaning that Google must take aggressive pricing steps to make up the difference.
“If Google wants to jump-start the Android tablet market, which has been weak to date, then a low-priced, high-quality device could do that,” said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates.
“Google certainly has an incentive to make the Android tablet a competitive product in the market, and maybe driven more by wanting to capture a bigger share of the pie, than by supporting its OEMs (Original Equipment Makers),” Gold said.
Moreover, the big payback to Google from selling a $199 tablet would come from the sales of apps and the ads that Google sells for its search tool, analysts say.
“Considering that the tablet ecosystem war is getting heated now with Microsoft having a bigger role, Google might feel the need for a more aggressive [pricing] strategy,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner.
“Google has to be more than a little frustrated that the first mainstream hit Android tablet is the Kindle Fire,” Tom Mainelli, an analyst at IDC, said to Computer World.
“Google is desperate to get some market traction for Android tablets and the Google ecosystem that supports them,” he added.
The Google’s Nexus 7 will certainly become Amazon’s biggest problem post-launch, threatening the market share of the hugely successful Kindle Fire.
The Fire runs a highly modified version of the Android operating system and prevents users from wandering outside the customised Amazon environment.
However, the Nexus brand has always been associated with the purest form of the Android operating system Google has to offer, meaning that it’s likely going to be a better experience.
Google is also banking on the fact that the screen is better than the Fire’s, with a higher resolution and 10-point touch capability.