Google CEO Has His Eyes on Low-End Android Tablets

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 13, 2012

Following Google's strong earnings report this week, CEO Larry Page has provided one of the clearest glimpses yet of what his company's Android tablet strategy will look like. Previously, TIME reported that Google may be focused on a co-branded 7-inch tablet in the $200 to $250 range, possibly based on the Asus MeMo 370T, for the July time frame. The Register has also noted that an Asus-based 7-inch tablet in that price range is likely from Google.

And sure enough, Google CEO Larry Page has confirmed that the low-end of the Android tablet market, where a device would compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble's Nook, is his company's point of focus.

 Seeking Alpha has a complete transcript of Page's earnings call, where he said:

"Obviously, there's been a lot of success on some lower-priced tablets that run Android, maybe not the full Google version of Android. But we definitely believe that there's going to be a lot of success at the lower end of the market as well with lower-priced products that will be very significant. And it's definitely an area we think is important and we're quite focused on."

Page also built this into his answer regarding tablet plans, implying that he intends to compete directly with Amazon and Apple in terms of selling digital content aimed at tablet devices: "I think you've seen us really invest substantially also in things like Google Play, which really give you great access to entertainment, media, books and videos and so on, and as well as the apps. And we think that's an important component of what we're doing." Google Play is targeted as a one-stop for Android-based apps, entertainment and more. 

From this digital content strategy to Page's mention of a Kindle Fire-like, low-end Android tablet, it looks like Google will be poised to compete very directly with a possible iPad Mini tablet from Apple, which has been rumored to be due later this year.  But, while there is promise in Google's tablet strategy, just this week market researchers reported that Android tablets won't challenge the iPad's dominance this year.