According to a report from DigiTimes, Google has partnered up with Asus and will be releasing a 7-inch Android powered tablet next month. Google has ordered 600,000 units for the initial launch, with projections to sell around 2 million units in 2012. We’ve already discussed why Google should release its own tablet, but now that it is coming to the market, how will it affect the tablet market as well as the Android tablet market?
The tablet market was established by Apple and the iPad in 2010, and has been dominated by the iPad since. The first true Android tablet to really make a dent in Apple’s armor is the Kindle Fire. However, after getting off to a fiery start when released in November 2011, sales have since cooled off significantly.
The Kindle Fire’s success should have fueled some fire for the Android tablet, but instead created an even less demand for Android tablets. Amazon may use Android to power the Kindle Fire, but with Amazon’s customizations it looks, feels, and performs nothing like a great high-end Android tablet like the Samsung Galaxy Tab or the Motorola Xoom. The entire Android experience was stripped out by Amazon in favor of the closed iOS model. Android has been stripped down to nothing more than a messenger for what Amazon wants you to be able to do and see. But at a paltry $200, consumers have spoken that they are willing to give up performance and experience for price.
But what if they didn’t have to?
While no specifics have been released for the Google tablet besides the screen size, here are the features that are probably a safe bet to make it into the Google tablet:
- It will have a dual-core processor as fast or even faster than the Kindle Fire
- It will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with a pure Google experience. No crapware, shovelware, or manufacturer/carrier branded apps
- The screen will be a high-definition screen at 720p resolution
- It won’t be sold at retailers initially, but rather through Google directly like the Nexus phones.
- It will carry the Nexus brand name
- It will feature both a rear and front-facing camera and shoot HD video
If the Google tablet is released with these specs and at the rumored $199 price tag, Amazon will need to respond, and respond fast. Not only will the Google tablet outperform the Kindle Fire, it will do so for the same price while preserving the pure Android experience. Consumers will no longer have to sacrifice a great tablet experience for nothing more than a jazzed up e-reader to save money.
This also may be the kick in the rear that Apple needs to finally release that 7-inch “iPad Mini” that’s been rumored for some time. Would you give up your Kindle Fire for a Google tablet? How about purchasing a Google tablet over an iPad? Let us know your thoughts on this exciting rumored release below.
Image courtesy of Android Community