A new report from CNET suggests that Google's rumored 10.1-inch Nexus tablet (AKA Nexus 10) will ship in the first half of 2013. Even more, Google's supposed partnership with Samsung on the device should yield "cutting-edge component tech" other than cramming 2,560 x 1,600 pixels into a 10.1-inch display.
This should be a no-brainer. Samsung's involvement on a Google Experience device was first mentioned when Google moved to acquire Motorola Mobility earlier this year. There were fears that the newly-acquired smartphone/tablet manufacturer would get priority over Google's Android partners. To calm those fears, Google reportedly said it would grant access to the latest build of Android to five key players, two of which were Asus and Samsung.
Immediately there were reports that these two manufacturers would create Google Experience tablets first before cranking out devices of their own using Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean". Reports of the 7-inch Asus tablet arrived first, thus pointing to the Nexus 7 tablet now available on the market. Samsung's tablet would be larger, possibly landing on store shelves this holiday season. So far the reports seem to be on track save for the Samsung release date.
Launching a 10-inch Google Experience tablet in the first half of 2013 only makes sense. Why? Because of the iPad 4 that will likely be announced by Apple in January and released to retail in April. Launching a 10-inch Google Experience tablet in that window would be a strategic move to topple Apple's dominance of the market., and probably has nothing to do with components or design issues.
Still, Apple has outdone itself with each successive iPad launch, and so far we haven't heard much about the guts of its latest hardware set. And as CNET points out, Samsung is the only company to successfully manufacture high-volume advanced AMOLED and LCD screens. The company has supplied Apple with cutting-edge LCDs in the past including those used on the Retina 15.4-inch MacBook Pro, and the Retina-based iPad.
"Consider the upcoming 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro," CNET's Brooke Crothers writes. "That is expected to put 2,560 x 1,600 pixels (the same pixel count as the 10-inch Google tablet) into a 13.3-inch display. That yields a PPI (pixel per inch) of about 227. But by stuffing that density into a 10-inch screen, the PPI jumps to just shy of 300. That begins to approach the 326 PPI on Apple's iPhone, which, of course, uses a much smaller 4-inch screen."
So what is Samsung going to do when it's manufacturing a top-of-the-line iPad killer for Google, but supplying top-of-the-line screens to Apple for its iPad 4? CNET hints to Sharp which just started producing 5-inch 443 PPI displays. Samsung may do the same, and could possibly reserve that tech for one of its tablet partners for the right price (read: probably not Apple).