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7-inch Google Nexus Tablet In Production This April?

By - Source: CNET | B 7 comments

There's more talk about the rumored 7-inch Google Nexus tablet, this time about when it goes into production.

Back in January, sources from Google's upstream supply chain said that the company would enter the tablet market using the Nexus brand, packing the device with Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" and a 7-inch screen. And instead of going after the Tablet King (Apple) itself, Google will go after Amazon and its Kindle Fire.

The news arrives after Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt confirmed that the company plans to release its own high-quality Android tablet within the next six months. Without stating additional details, it was assumed that Google would use its Nexus strategy as it did with the smartphone sector. Later sources revealed the ICS and 7-inch screen elements, saying the price would be around $199 to compete with Amazon.

So why take on Amazon instead of Apple? Amazon is simply a bigger threat, pulling consumers away from Android Market thanks to its own Apps Store which coughs up a free Android app once a day. Kindle Fire owners don't have access to Android Market, thus the only way Google can make a sale off those consumers is if they purchase and install the app on their smartphone, back it up onto a PC's hard drive, and then send it to the Kindle Fire and install it from the internal storage.

Both Google and Amazon provide Android-based services, offering movies, TV shows, books, comics, magazines, music and more. Google isn't exactly a retailer, and it doesn't offer means of purchasing video, storing it in the cloud, and streaming to an Android device or PC -- rentals are the only option. But that could change with the launch of a Nexus tablet. As it stands right now, Amazon is Google's single biggest threat to its reign over the Android nation, and that became apparent over the holiday season as they battled each other with price reductions, one matching the other in music, books and apps. Thus once the enemy online retailer is defeated, then Google could perhaps go after the Tablet King itself using higher-end tablets produced by its acquired Motorola Mobility unit.

Rumors surrounding the Nexus tablet surfaced once again this week thanks to Richard Shim, an analyst with DisplaySearch, who seemingly regurgitated previous reports. However he also speculated that Google's offering will sport the same 7-inch screen size, but at a higher resolution of 1280 x 800 (Kindle Fire is only 1024 x 600). Production will supposedly begin this April, and will produce between 1.5 million and 2 million units in its first run.

Looking back, previous reports claimed the tablet would actually make an appearance in March or April. But if Shim is correct in his analysis, Google could very well be waiting to see what Amazon produces with its Kindle Fire 2. Google could also be waiting to release a $199 Nexus ICS tablet during the launch window of Windows 8-based tablets later this year. Now wouldn't that rain on Microsoft's parade!

Still, at this point, Shim isn't sure how Google plans to market the 7-inch Nexus device. "I don't know how they plan on marketing it. If it's going to be a premium device, or if it's going to be a Kindle Fire type competitor," he said. Shim also pointed out that after Google completes the acquisition of Motorola, it will automatically gain ownership of three tablets: the original 10.1-inch Xoom, the 10.1-inch Xyboard (aka Xoom 2), and the 8.2-inch Xyboard.

So with those in its portfolio, why produce a 7-inch tablet? As stated before, to go after Amazon, command the sub-$200 Android tablet market, and bring consumers back home to Android Market's loving, open arms.

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  • 0 Hide
    amdwilliam1985 , February 24, 2012 8:06 PM
    lol, it's funny how Google sees more threats from Amazon rather than Apple/Microsoft.
  • 0 Hide
    jaber2 , February 24, 2012 8:08 PM
    "Google could also be waiting to release a $199 Nexus ICS tablet during the launch window of Windows 8-based tablets later this year. Now wouldn't that rain on Microsoft's parade!"
    Over 90% of PC marker is run with Windows, Windows 8 will own most of market since people are already familiar with Windows.

  • 0 Hide
    beetlejuicegr , February 24, 2012 8:39 PM
    There is really no reason to jump to windows 8....and proof is MS is extending the support time of windows 7 :) 
    I will really welcome a sub200$ tablet with the nexus logo, i will definitely buy it for my wife. And the article is right, amazon made a pro move in marketing, i wonder what happens next!
    FREE TABLETs FOR ALL ^^

    And apple can sell their tablets for cider trays! lol
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , February 24, 2012 8:49 PM
    It's about time other companies realize that 7" can be a very good form factor, especially for reading comics and web browsing while being quite a bit more portable than 10".
  • 0 Hide
    DaddyW123 , February 24, 2012 8:51 PM
    So, I have no idea how I haven't heard of this "Xyboard" tablet yet. Just looked it up, and I think that 8.1" is the one for me. I was going to wait for the Prime 7" but I think this is the one. I almost got the Galaxy 8.9 because the size was EXACTLY what I'm looking for (I actually feel 7" is a bit too small for a full fledged tablet, fine for just an ereader though) - but with no SD Card reader, that was a deal-breaker.

    The wifi only version (only available through motorola.com) is only $399 which isn't a bad price - and it looks like it comes with a charging dock and case included "while supplies last" so says the website. Debating about waiting until more quad core tablets come out which will drop the price of these dual cores - but I feel like I've been waiting so long already.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 24, 2012 11:59 PM
    I totally love my Galaxy Tab 8.9 but I think if there are Windows tablets on intel ( and intel is trying to break into this market) I might make the switch. Android and iOS games suck because there are no real RPG's on them. On a Windows tablet with Intel inside I would have a chance of getting good games that I could take to work with me.

    I love Android and what they do for phones but for a tablet I may just defect. I can't see myself doing a Windows phone though.
  • 0 Hide
    omega21xx , February 25, 2012 2:45 PM
    Should be fun to have a nexus tablet and dual boot with windows 8 when it comes out seeing how it supports ARM now. Shouldn't be much of a problem to make a boot loader or once the device is rooted, make a windows boot option under the recovery menu. I'll be interested to see if someone attempts this when the consumer preview is out!
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