Late last year Google chairman Eric Schmidt commented to an Italian newspaper that "in the next six months [Google planned] to market a tablet of the highest quality". His statement generated much speculation primarily over whether Google planned on releasing a self-branded "Nexus" tablet or whether they would merely partner with a device manufacturer, such as Motorola, Samsung, or HTC.

According to a rumour from Taiwanese electronics daily DigiTimes, Google may be preparing to launch an "own-brand tablet PC...targeting Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire". Naturally, Google Taiwan has already released a statement indicating that it has "never heard about plans of launching an own-brand tablet PC".

Sources from Google's upstream supply chain believe that the 7-inch Android 4.0 tablet will launch late in the first quarter of 2012, with a price of less than US$199, putting it in direct competition against Amazon's Kindle Fire.

While a 7-inch tablet for $199 sounds like a good deal, Google may have to swallow a huge loss if it intends to make the tablet competitive in terms of features and speed. Right now the Kindle Fire is being lambasted for being slow and buggy, however it is only $199. I doubt Google could make a significantly better device for $199 without providing a heavy subsidy.

[Source: DigiTimes]

Abhiroop Basu
Abhiroop Basu is an opinionated tech and digital media blogger. As a doe-eyed twenty-something he started his first blog TechComet to comment on anything tech-related that caught his omniscient eye. Since then he has blogged for Android Police, Make Tech Easier, and This Green Machine. In the real world, Abhiroop Basu is a resident of Singapore and the Editor of The Digit, a subsidiary of The Potato Productions Group.

  • level380

    Oh please let it be true!!!!

  • aNYthing24

    Less than $199? Wow.

  • Bas

    Just 199? A Nexus tablet?

  • Sp4rkR4t

    It's about time the table factor got the nexus treatment, and if that pricepoint is true they can take my money now.

  • http://none angrydroid

    $199 nexus tablet??? you can take my money also.... :)

  • hugobosslives

    screw the kindle fire
    mi wantz nexus :D

  • http://www.theversionsmusic.co.uk Ian

    7 inch nexus tab is gret news, any chance of a 10 Inch one too?

  • tomqz

    I hope that it will be more than 7 inch

    • Jon

      I was hoping for a 10.1 inch or larger display. I want a gaming tablet. :)

    • Ebeneezer

      That's what she said!


  • Jerry Mancini

    2 please :) I love my Galaxy Nexus!

  • gosa

    Kind of interesting, but I doubt it will pack phone features as well for that kind of money, right?

    Having gotten used to the "Internet everywhere" feeling with my ZTE Light I have a hard time seeing myself buying a tablet that isn't also a "phone"...

  • http://www.romanstwelve.net jeremy reger

    I'll take 2 or 3 please. .thanks bye!

  • Justin StClair

    Where can I pre-order?

  • Josh

    How about a Nexus phone for under $199?

  • yuriy

    I think it'll be bigger than 7". Small form factor doesnt make sense.

    • Tyler C

      At a $199 price point, and aimed at the Kindle Fire, how in the world does a 7" form factor not make sense?

  • L boogie

    An ICS-flavored 7 incher, me likey nexus..... Most likely 16/32 gb (no sd option) with the latest ti omap processor, hopefully with ips/ mirasol/ super amoled + hd display, bluetooth 4.0, etc and of course, wi-fi and 3 g/4 g options.

  • Interest

    LePan has a well-reviewed 9.7" tablet that Amazon has discounted well under $200 several times. Supposedly, it not only works but has a good screen and reasonable battery life.

    With Google's volume and ability to use Market profits to cover razor-like margins, they should easily be able to hit 7" at $199 and 10" at $299 without sacrificing much quality.

    There's no way it will compete with the second-gen Galaxy Tabs, but it won't need to. It will be an affordable "just works" Android tablet.

    Samsung has no motivation to hit that bottom-end market, and neither do HTC or Sony, but maybe Motorola now does...

  • Joey Klatzko

    You know what would be game changing and better than a Nexus tablet? A tablet dock for the Galaxy Nexus. Put those pogo pins and ICS fragments to use

  • mpciii

    I got my kids a 7" Acer tablet during the Black Friday sale at Best Buy and I love the size. I think it's the best balance between portability and overall usability. If Google makes this I'll definitely pick up one.

    • Tyler C

      I later managed to get the Acer A100 for $249 at a Walmart, it is actually an excellent little tablet. My only gripes with it are the unimpressive 5 hours of battery life and the viewing angles on the screen. I should have tried to get it on Black Friday, but I wasn't considering 7" ones at the time.

  • Devin

    Hopefully they won't cheap out on the screen like they did on the galaxy nexus.

    • Tyler C

      This is the second ignorant comment you have made about the screen. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

  • Golightly

    7" is perfect. I want a Mirasol display though, so it is truly an 'anywhere' tablet capable of reading ebooks without straining the eyes. Save 10"+ screens and 720p+ resolutions for tablets that will be used at home.

  • Tim

    Wish people would shut up about this. If Google were planning to release a "Nexus Tablet" it would have been released with the Galaxy Nexus or very shortly thereafter. Between being taken out of context and (probably) mistranslated this whole thing has gotten out of hand. Google has a Nexus tablet it is called the Xooom. Two more have sine been released. I personally think this was the real reason for the Motorola purchase other than patents. Schmidt was talking about getting ICS optimized to work well on tablets nothing more.

  • Jerry

    Tim = Troll
    Go buy an iMaxipad

  • J-Dog

    If the rumors are true, I'd bet they hold off until Q2... Announce it during their i/o conference (maybe gift everyone with one).

    Just think - a Nexus tablet, with Android 4.0.4, and fully integrated Majel voice assistant...

    The delay would also, if I recall previous AP articles, give them enough time to incorporate quad-core processors (though probably not along with the $199 price tag).

    Other hardware I'd LOVE to see (*as minimums, Google please feel free to exceed): 32GB on-board storage, 2GB ram, 8mpx back, 5mpx front cameras, barometer, nfc... And please, since its a tablet & you have more space, please include a SD card... I'd love for them to use SDXC instead of SDHC (even if it means abandoning micro cards for full sized cards). Then we could use SD cards up to 2TBs, which could possibly encourage some to ditch the desktop & rely solely on the more portable tablet.... And an LTE radio that'd work with at least Verizon's network (if they can keep it up)... Pref' with everyone's network (if a global radio could be a possibility), then one device can be shipped to the US for Verizon/AT&T/T-Mob/Sprint & to Europe for O2/Vodofone/etc...

    • David Keith

      I love reading this comment now after the fact! :) The first 2 sentences made me laugh out loud! and then get chills