Everyone and his grandmother has heard this rumor by now, which states that Google is apparently working on a 7 inch Android tablet to capture market share in the budget tablet space and prevent Amazon, as well as Chinese manufacturers, both of which it has no real control over, from dominating the space.
Even though the rumor has been reported by Digitimes, whose track record could inspire a sequel to “Dumb and Dumber”, it does seem to be a likely move by Google. Android tablets have been getting slaughtered in any price point even remotely close to the iPad, mostly because of one reason – they suck.
If Google wants to enter the tablet space and gain market share, it would have to use a similar strategy to the one it used in the smartphone market – targeting the budget conscious consumers.
According to the rumor, Google is working with Asus to launch a 7 inch tablet (we’re not sure whether it will be christened the Nexus Tablet) which will be priced at $199 to $249.
Apparently, Google chose Asus because HTC wasn’t willing to impair its brand image with cheap tablets, Acer didn’t have the in-house R&D capability, and Samsung can’t seem to design any tablet which doesn’t look like a rip-off of the iPad (OK, the last part may not really be the reason why it didn’t choose Samsung, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind).
The Google-Asus tablet will presumably run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and will be the first tablet to use the Google Play Store which was unveiled earlier this week.