Will Google's Tablet Arrive Next Week?
Things are really heating up in the tablet arena, and it looks like the next big story is going to be Google's own tablet, purportedly to be called "Nexus." Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has confirmed that it is coming, as has an Asus representative, according to Android Authority. Asus is reportedly the manufacturing partner behind the tablet. Now, there are strong signs that the tablet will be announced at next week's Google I/O conference.
So far, most reports around the web have Google delivering a 7-inch tablet that will run the Android Jelly Bean mobile OS. Many sites are also citing the price for the tablet at between $199 and $249, which would make it less expensive than iPads and most Android tablets.
At that price point, the Google tablet might also be much less expensive than Microsoft's new Surface tablets. Announced this week, Microsoft's tablets are notable for the fact that Microsoft will do its own manufacturing, which could potentially allow the company to keep prices low. However, prices aren't set yet for the first two Surface tablets that Microsoft has announced.
Along with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which puts Google squarely in the smarphone business, an Android tablet can allow Google to more pointedly steer the whole Android ecosystem. At the price points being discussed for the Google tablet, Google may even be subsidizing part of the cost for the devices in order to seed a large market for them. That's a move right out of Amazon's playbook with low-end Kindle devices, where Amazon expects to recoup money lost on tablets by selling digital content for use on them.
As Google I/O arrives next week, there are strong signs that we'll get final word on the Google tablet. If the rumors are correct, we'll see Apple, Microsoft and Google squaring off with distinctly different strategies.