updated 12:35 pm EDT, Fri March 16, 2012
Google Nexus slate may have toned down for price
(Update: extra rumors) Google's repeatedly rumored reference Android tablet, informally thought of as a Nexus tablet, may be focused on cost even more than thought. A senior staffer at an American supply chain firm claimed to Android and Me that the price window had been dropped by $50 to $149 to $199. However, any chance at a quad-core Tegra 3 might be dashed, as it would use an unnamed chip to save money.
The switch would supposedly lead to hardware partner ASUS dropping the Eee Pad MeMo 370T entirely. ASUS had gone unusually silent on the 370T ever since its introduction at CES in January, leading to speculation that Google wanted the base design of the 370T to serve as the template for its own hardware.
A sub-$199 price would possibly reinforce views that Google's real target is the Amazon Kindle Fire, not the iPad or other full-size tablets. Google has maintained that it's fine with Amazon forking Android on to its own path, but many have suspected that it was upset that Amazon was wresting away control of what users could expect. The Kindle Fire not only uses an almost entirely non-stock Android distribution but doesn't include the Google Play Store or other services that make Google money through revenue cuts and ads.
If at all real, the design could be shipping as soon as May or June, just in time for the Google I/O conference.
Update: An extra leak heading to The Verge backs the tablet, but that it will cost $199. While the details are still shy, the site agrees that it's likely an attempt by Google to retake the Android tablet market from Amazon.