When Google chairman Eric Schmidt said last year that his company would release a tablet of the "highest quality," many assumed Google was building a device targeting the iPad. But now, DigiTimes, citing a source from Google's supply chain, says the company is actually building a 7-inch, sub-$200 Android tablet. That would put Google's hardware in direct competition with Amazon's similarly sized and priced Kindle Fire. Would Google be wise to challenge Amazon?
No. The device would be lousy or unprofitable: There's a big problem here, says MG Siegler at ParisLemon. Amazon, which sees its hardware merely as a delivery device for its massive content library, sells the Fire at a near break-even price. The Fire is of "significantly less quality than the iPad." If Google is going to undercut Amazon, "the hardware is either going to be shit — or Google is going to have to take a significant loss on each one sold." What's smart about that?
"The "highest quality" Google tablet"
And it would annoy Android's partners: I actually think this tablet would be great, says Zach Epstein at Boy Genius Report. But with a $199 price tag, it would also push other tablets running Google's Android system out of the picture completely. "Who would purchase a $500 Samsung tablet when $199 will get you a slate of 'the highest quality'?" Tablet makers who use Google's Android might just "throw in the towel" and bring their business over to Windows 8 instead.
"Google's Nexus tablet may push Android partners out of the picture"
Are you kidding? This tablet would set a new standard: It doesn't matter if Google's tablet "chooses to chase the iPad or the Kindle Fire," says Daniel Ionescu at PC World. Google purchased Motorola Mobility last year for $12.5 million, giving the search giant an in-house hardware platform. Google is now flexing its new muscles to provide a clear example to Android partners "of how the company envisions products carrying the OS." You can bet this tablet will impress.
"Google tablet: Will it bring down the Kindle Fire or iPad?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: September 30, 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- What the Romney boomlet says about the establishment GOP's feeble 2016 field
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Christian conservatives have a terrifying new bogeyman: The Christian leftist
Subscribe to the Week