updated 05:55 am EDT, Fri April 6, 2012
Google delays co-branded tablet to lower price
Google’s first entry into the tablet market with a co-branded device is said to have been pushed back to June. According to The Verge, if Google had decided to push ahead with an initial design it would have cost as much as $249, but would have been ready for a May release. Instead, ‘sources close to the project’ said that Google has chosen to make some adjustments to the specifications in order to bring it closer in price to its primary target, the Amazon Kindle Fire, which retails for $199.
Google’s tablet is being made in a partnership between it and ASUS and will be a 7-inch device powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor and be available in Wi-Fi only. At this stage, it is expected to run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) although the next major revision of Android, Jelly Bean, is expected not long after the device goes on sale. The Google tablet is being developed along similar lines to the way Google has worked on Nexus branded smartphones with other partners.
Google had also reportedly considered lowering the price of its tablet by offering direct subsidies as Amazon has done with its Kindle Fire, however the latest developments suggest that although it may still implement this strategy, it is also exploring component options that could still keep the device price and performance competitive. The Google tablet could also be sold directly by Google through a new online store, along with other third-party tablets including those sold by Samsung, and presumably Motorola among others.