Google’s been struggling for a while to get the notion of an Android tablet to sit in the minds of the general masses. The iPad has always dominated the market, but now the Kindle Fire is starting to change things in the US. The lesson Google’s learned? It needs its own tablet priced at the very bottom end. And that’s exactly what it’s got planned.
According to two separate anonymous sources at Mobile World Congress, Google has partnered with Asus to bring the long-awaited Nexus tablet to fruition. The sources claim that Google’s watched the success of the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire with green eyes, and wants in on the action.
As such, the rumour goes that Asus is building a 7-inch tablet that Google can call its very own in time for the summer. The price will heavily undercut that of the iPad 3 and likely match that of the Kindle Fire, at around the £130 mark.
We can’t help but think that Google needs a slow, patronising clap for this one. You don’t need to have a degree in economics or years and years’ worth of business experience to know that the only way an Android tablet can become a genuine iPad rival in the eyes of the public is to fight it on price.
More to the point, you don’t need to have seen Amazon’s approach to know that to be the case. Google’s odd way of talking and thinking about its tablets in the past suggests that this facet of its business has, up until now, only been an aside to the main focus: Android on phones.
Perhaps a proper, Google-sanctioned Nexus tablet will change that, but it’s taken a nearly unforgivable amount of time for one of the world’s biggest companies to figure out that Android tablet + cheap price = iPad rival. Either way, watch this space for an official announcement around June.