updated 07:15 am EDT, Thu June 28, 2012
Asus delivered Nexus 7 in just four months from concept
The Google Nexus 7 manufactured by Asus took just four months from manufacture to market according to AllThingsD. According to Asus chairman Jonney Shih, Google gave them the four month brief at the start of the project, which they managed to make by setting up an Asus team in Silicon Valley that helped create a 24-hour development cycle. Google also told them that it should be high-end, but cost no more than $200.
'Our engineers told me it is like torture,' Shih said. 'They [Google] ask a lot.'
Rubin gave high praise to Asus for its efforts. 'I don't think there would have been any other partner that could move that fast.' Rubin said. 'We went from zero to working product in four months.'
The Nexus 7 was created in response to the weak sales of Android tablets, which has remained a sore point for Andy Rubin. After reflection and analysis, Rubin felt that the missing piece of the equation was creating an ecosystem like that offered by Apple's iTunes and Amazon. 'I think that was the missing piece,' Rubin said.
Google is banking on the tablet to drive consumer interest in Android tablets. The company is selling the device at cost and has also taken up the costs required to market the device. 'When it gets sold through the Play store, there's no margin,' Rubin said. 'It just basically gets [sold] through.'
With a device featuring a hackable OS, a quad-core processor running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), high-end hardware for $200, Google might have finally hit the winning formula. The nearest competitor to the Nexus 7 is the Amazon Kindle Fire, which has been geared solely towards the Amazon marketplace, although its sales have tapered substantially since it was first launched.
On paper, the Nexus 7 should pose a serious threat to Amazon arriving ahead of the Kindle Fire 2, which is not expected to arrive until next month. Whether it also eats into Apple's dominant iPad will remain to be seen.