Google to launch ASUS-made Nexus Tablet?

BGR reports that Google may be ready to partner up with Taiwanese electronics major ASUS to launch its own tablet. This would be in line with Google's efforts in the smartphone market, where it launched the Nexus series of Android smartphones (by tying up with HTC, and now Samsung). The latest version of that series - the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, was the very first smartphone to come loaded with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), and one of the only Android phones with a stock version of the OS. Google has long been rumored to try the same strategy with a tablet, after the dismal way Android tablets in general have performed compared to the Apple iPad.

via Wikimedia Commons

There were rumors about the Google tablet being named 'Play', after the Mountain View company acquired a large number of domains with that name. However, Google Play has turned out to be nothing but a successor to Android Market, making even the name of the tablet an unknown entity.

What we do know is that the Nexus tablet is intended to breach the $199 price barrier, which the Amazon Kindle Fire famously made its own. Even more remarkable is that the tablet will not be a featherweight in terms of its specs either (a la Kindle Fire). ASUS and Google plan to make their tablet a quad-core powerhouse, running on a Tegra 3 processor and stock Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Google plans to make this frankly extraordinary feat possible by reducing the cost of other hardware, possibly the internal storage, but whether they succeed in achieving that remains to be seen.
The dimensions of the device, unlike the rest of its hardware, are expected to be similar to the Fire, as the Nexus tablet is expected to be a 7 incher.

Google stands to either gain or lose a lot, should their Nexus tablet be launched in April, as expected. If they succeed, they will have a viable competitor in the market to the Kindle Fire at the $199 price level, that will be geared towards Google's own services (unlike the Fire, which is locked down within the Amazon ecosystem). However, Google will be taking a risk by launching the device on the heels of the Apple iPad 3. Apple-mania will probably be at its peak during the March-April time period, drowning out the Nexus tablet amidst all the euphoria. The failure of Google's own tablet might just be the death knell for Android tablets in general.

(via BGR)

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