Cut-price Android tablets remain a central plank of Google’s strategy to overhaul the iPad at the top of the tablet tree, despite slow sales for the initial batch of slates powered by the operating system.
Addressing delegates at the search giant’s earnings call, CEO Larry Page refuted claims that tablets powered by its operating system had for the most part failed to hit the mark with consumers.
He also identified low-cost models as the company’s secret weapon against Apple, presumably buoyed by the fact that the heavily subsidised Amazon Kindle Fire bucked the trend and racked up three million US sales in the pre-Christmas period.
Page said: "There has been a lot of success on some lower priced tablets that run Android.
“Maybe not the full Google version of Android, but we definitely have a belief that there is going to be a lot of success at the lower end of the market as well, with lower priced products that will be very significant. And it’s definitely an area we think is important and are quite focused on.”
Google has been rumoured to be prepping an own-branded tablet for months, which will presumably follow the lead of the Nexus smartphones and run an unadorned, vanilla version of Android.
News of the company’s plans come amid a challenging backdrop for Apple challengers, after a Gartner report revealed that 73 per cent of tablets sold in 2011 were iPads.
The analysis firm also forecasted that Apple’s tablet will continue to dominate the market until 2016.