Google unveiled a new tablet late last month called the Nexus 7. Now there are plenty of affordable Android tablets in the market and most of them lack at the hardware or the software end. But, Nexus 7 is special. This first ever tablet from Google promises great set of features at a surprisingly low price, which is too good to be true. Google isn’t exactly popular for being a money-leecher; they aren’t popular for being generous either. This leads me to question Google’s intentions. Is profit really on their minds, or is it something much more strategic than that?
The Nexus 7 comes packed with a quad core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and a 12 core GPU, which effectively makes the device capable of using 16 cores at a time. It has a 7 inch screen with a display resolution of 1200 * 800 pixels, and features a Gorilla glass laden LCD display. On the memory side, it has 1 GB of Ram, and up to 16 GB of hard disk space. And front facing 1.3 megapixel camera, with no camera on the back panel.
It comes loaded with the latest version of Google’s flagship Android OS, called Jellybean. Jellybean comes with a lot of new improvements over ICS, which includes Google Now, a revolutionary new platform for searching and user interaction which goes beyond Voice search and AI. It also has a lot of new tweaks such as Google’s “Project Butter” initiative, which makes scrolling much smoother, almost “buttery”, and the OS much more responsive as a whole. It’s clear that with all of these bells and whistles, that this is a top tier tablet intended to compete with the best out there.
Now here’s the real deal. The tablet is priced at just 199$ for the 8 GB version, and 249$ for the 16 GB version. In case you do not find this surprising, let me remind you that the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s goliath in the tablet space, sells for the same price, but cannot hold a candle to the specs Google are offering with the Nexus 7. The Kindle Fire is a tablet with very limited capabilities and actually justifies the comparatively cheap price tag. The iPad though, now that’s a different story. But even so, in terms of features, the Nexus 7 probably goes neck to neck with Apple’s A-sexual lovechild. One may say it even trumps the mighty beast.
Which brings us to the main point of discussion, why price so cheaply? If you ask me, I say it’s a ploy. None of the Android tablets have really made an impact which they were expected to make, mainly due to the stiff competition from Apple, and Amazon. And what do you do when the competition starts getting heavy on you? You try and neutralize the competition. By pricing the Nexus 7 as much as the Kindle Fire, Google has ensured one thing; if there is a question between which Tablet to opt for, the price being a factor, it’s a no-brainer. Google hands down has the best tablet around. They want to hit Amazon, and hit them hard.
But won’t this affect the current lineup of Android tablets too? Most Android tablets out there may feature similar specs but are very highly priced. As such, won’t Google be harming its own partners? Well yes and no. Even though the current generation of Android tablets will become obsolete, it will pave the way for future tablets to follow Google footsteps in the pursuit of making better tablets at around the same price range. Brilliant strategy in my opinion.
You can call this transition as rebooting of a brand. If one strategy does not work for a long time, start over. If Google is able to capitalize on the market as they will be hoping with this bold move, then we might see a new era of cheap, high performing tablets in no time. For the customer, it’s a major win, which is all that matters.