Google is taking a shot at stealing the iPad’s throne with a seven-inch ‘Nexus’ tablet.
The tablet, which is set to be officially announced at Google’s developers conference starting on Wednesday, will be named ‘Nexus’, which Google gives to all of its flagship machines.
The tablet is said to be available in a white-and-black finish, and contain a high-end ‘Tegra3’ quad-core chip, pitching it against top-of the-range devices and yet at an extremely competitive price – $250 for the 16GB model, and $199 for the 8GB model. If these prices translate to the UK – which is possible, if Google’s aim is to get the tablet established in the market – that is £160 and £128 respectively. Android tablets are nothing new, and there have been a batch of good models from the likes of Acer and Samsung, but now Google is fighting with its teeth. Building a tablet in-house means ends-to-end quality control, and Google may be able to shave the budget right down to the bone with a product that works as a loss-leader’ rather than a for-profit device.
Android has huge success with their budget Fire tablet, also based on Android, and it has proved extremely successful in the U.S.
If Google can replicate this success, it could take some of the allure from Apple’s great but expensive tablet, as well as attracting more developers to Android, and ensuring other Android manufacturers up their game.
Phone Arena released leaked images of what is believed to be the new tablet, which seems to follow the lines of the bestselling Samsung Galaxy phones.
From the pictures, it looks like there will be two cameras. Google-branded handsets are often used as a showcase for new technologies, with the search giant partnering with different hardware providers for the software.
The last Google Nexus phone, which introduced NFC, or contactless payments, was made by Samsung. Nexus phones and presumably tablets always receive Google software updates at the earliest opportunity, so this tablet is likely to be the first one to get a ‘Jelly Bean’ upgrade, the next version of Android which is due in the Autumn.
A seven-inch also provides a successful stake against Apple. Apple – at least when ran by Steve Jobs – refused the smaller size model as Jobs was not a fan.
However, Apple may be about to turn around on this stance. Manufacturers have allegedly received orders for a seven-inch ‘iPad Mini’ from Apple.
Other competition comes from Microsoft, which is finally getting in to the tablet market with Surface, their own operating system based off the back of Windows. The first appearance of the Surface was welcomed by tech pundits, but it is likely to be priced as a premium model.
One thing that is not known is whether the tablet will have a 3G SIM slot for mobile broadband.
Google may choose to save on the cost, and make use of the ability of Android phones to share their internet wirelessly with other devices.
The Google conference, known as the I/O conference or the Input/Output conference, starts in San Francisco on Wednesday.
The conference is expected to include information and launch dates for Google’s latest 3D mapping projects and other projects bubbling away in the Google labs.
Read My previous Post about the Tablet Battle here: