Google’s bid to challenge the iPad’s domination of the tablet sector has floundered. Apple’s slate continues to surge, while interest in tablets using Honeycomb and the new Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) OS has been muted. At best.
So rumours that the Big G is priming a new tablet, released under its own name, come as no surprise.
But what is telling is the chatter that this new seven-inch number will come in at under $200 Stateside, putting it right up against the Amazon Kindle Fire.
Here’s five reasons why this all new tablet is smart move by Google:
1 It’ll remove Google from direct iPad competition
The iPad remains the premium tablet experience. But in dropping the price of its offering so low, Google will remove itself from the iPad debate altogether, at least for a few months.
It’ll be able to position its tablet as something totally different, a device for those who don’t have £400 or more to spare on an essentially frivolous device.
2 It’ll give Google a boost in its battle with Amazon
Amazon is fast emerging as a key competitor to both Apple and Google in the tablet space. But no decent, useable Android tablet has dropped to such a low price yet.
With Amazon offering ever greater content and breezy functionality with the Kindle Fire, this cheap Google slate will help it take on the online retailer on a similar footing.
3 An easier way to push content and cloud services to new users
It’s not just about cheap hardware though. Google’s cloud services and its growing push towards offering more content through its TV platform and YouTube make this device a great way to hook users into its ecosystem, all while getting them out of the clutches of Amazon and Apple.
4 A cheap, pure Google experience
Android tablets do largely use a vanilla Google experience, but there’s plenty of talk of ICS being skinned, making it harder to update.
This budget slate will appeal to those who want a minimum of fuss when it comes to loading up new software, as well as an experience not hampered by having to scroll through endless menu structures.
5 Alternative way to break into market
The relative failure of Android tablets has undoubtedly been down to poor mind share and very high prices.
This will help Google break into the tablet market in the same way it has done with budget smartphones using Android. It’ll then be able to build on this success, offering specced up, fancier tablets at a later date.