Google reportedly went through several manufacturers before settling on Asus to develop its 7-inch "Kindle Fire killer," the Google Nexus tablet. The duo is expected to unveil the device as early as May with the previously reported price range of $199 to $249 USD. The news arrives after Google debunked rumors that the tablet would be called Google Play, as it consolidated its four main services into one network brand using that very name.
On Friday unnamed sources claimed that Google headed to Taiwan at the end of 2011 to seek out co-brand partners for its 7-inch tablet. HTC reportedly had a strong design capability, but the company insisted on directing the development of Google's device. Even more, HTC didn't want to create a low-priced model, claiming it would "impair" its HTC brand image. Whatever.
Google then supposedly wandered over to Acer, but the company didn't have R&D capabilities in-house. Finally Google ended up with Team Asus thanks to its overall excellent product quality and its ODM capability. In turn Asus saw this partnership as an opportunity to win Google's heart and land additional deals in producing pure Google Experience Devices in the future.
There was no mention of Motorola.
As reported last week, the Google Nexus tablet may be similar to the Asus MeMo 370T revealed back at CES 2012 which sported a Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC. Google's offering is said to feature Nvidia's quad-core SoC, a 1280 x 800 resolution, 1 GB of internal storage and Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich." It would seem more Google-like if the gadget actually launched with Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean," but if the tablet is making a debut in May at the least, the newer OS is obviously out of the question.
With Google Play now taking the reigns from Android Market, Google Music and Google Books, the launch of the new "network" seems to pave the way for a Google Nexus tablet aimed specifically to take Amazon's Kindle Fire down in flames (sorry, couldn't resist). Google Play also points to something even larger looming in the horizon, seemingly backing up reports that Google is gearing up to produce a wireless entertainment system and more.
Given the track record of Asus and its popular Transformer tablets, Google seems to be in a good position to enter the tablet market using its Nexus brand. Asus recently reported February revenues of $931 million, up 26.49-percent from January and up 94.03-percent from February 2011. January-February revenues of NT $49.417 billion hiked 45-percent on year, Asus said.