Google Announces $199 Nexus 7 Android Tablet

| Product News

Google announced on Wednesday the Nexus 7 Android-powered tablet, a US$199 tablet that completely resets the bar on the 7-inch tablet form factor. The device runs Android 4.1, called Jelly Bean, and it features a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and a 12-core graphics processor. The device has a resolution of 1280 x 800 (216 pixels per inch), or 720p in high definition parlance.

Google Nexus 7

Google Nexus 7 Android Tablets

Google announced the device during a keynote event at its annual Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco. The company tapped Asus to develop the hardware, but it is being marketed as a Google device.

Google is launching the device with all of the digital content available from Google Play, including movies, TV shows (which are new to Google Play), apps, ebooks, and a variety of digital magazines.

The device has an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a digital compass built in to it, and the 4325 mAh battery offers up to 8 hours of batter life. It also includes near field communications (NFC) capabilities, and has a 1.2megapixel front-facing camera.

For $199, you get 8GB of storage, and for $249, you get 16GB. Google announced that for an unspecified, limited time, customers who buy the device will get a $25 credit good towards Google Play content.

The company made the device available for pre-order today, and it is expected to shop in mid-July. The Mac Observer will be offering up a spec comparison with the iPad and Kindle Fire on Thursday

Google Promo video for Nexus 7

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Comments

cb50dc

Hmmm. Looks like the game(s) may have just become almost a bit interesting. If this lives up to its potential, that’s a sweet price point for the ‘droids.

Props to them for the textured grip surface, one truly practical feature that Apple missed by prioritizing smooth-sexy-shiny.

iJack

Very interesting.  For $200, it would be a real challenge for Apple to catch up.  They’ll sell a lot of them, and even if people stop using them after a while, they probably won’t complain loudly.

OldMorris

so you get 8GB for ~$200 or 16GB for ~$250 whereas…

16GB 10” iPad 2 (last years model) for ~$400.

Seems graphics and speed of tegra 3 will be very capable.

I think this is very competitive… Apple’s turn to respond.

mrmwebmax

+

Agreed it’s Apple’s turn to respond. Other thoughts:

This will absolutely kill Kindle Fire and B&N Nook. It’s game over unless both drastically reduce prices. Even then, why get a crippled 7-inch Android tablet when you can get a full-fledged 7-inch Android tablet for $199?

It will be curious to see if Apple responds with a smaller, cheaper iPad. I say they do.

iJack

It will be curious to see if Apple responds with a smaller, cheaper iPad. I say they do.

I’ll say they might, but if it’s ? $350, it’s not going to be competitive, even with more memory.

FlipFriddle

WiFi only and 7” screen? It’s competing with the Kindle Fire and Nook, not iPad. It’ll be interesting to see if people buy it or if MS’s vaporware/FUD-first strategy works and makes people wait.
The 7” tablet has always seemed like a dead-end to me. I find the iPad even a bit small for some web and creation tasks (like Pages). I played with my niece’s Kindle Fire a bit at Christmas and it was atrocious for reading websites on. Everything was tiny and I have good close-up vision. As a media device it seemed ok.
I guess we’ll have to see what the market says.

ctopher

This will absolutely kill Kindle Fire and B&N Nook.

I disagree. Didn’t you learn anything from the other iPad competitors? It’s not price and features is the ecosystem. Kindle and Nook both have a decent ecosystem and a large company backing it up.

Sure Google is a large company, but it’s not one who has my credit card, or one that has hundreds of storefronts I can go to to see the product.

Amazon has decent customer service for an internet company and I’m sure many people are aware of their service. Barnes and Nobel also has great in-person customer service.

Where do you call Google to get someone to help with a bad battery or screen? Where will I be exposed to their marketing while I have my credit card out ready to buy something else?

Features and price don’t sell tablets, people sell tablets.

Ion_Quest

Wonder if Google will follow this with a Nexus10?  Motorola?

archimedes

I think the key thing is that it’s a Google device and Google gets to control the software, hardware, and updates!!

I think Steve Jobs was right that the 7” form factor is awkward, but…

I wonder if Apple will have to create a 7” iPad or will they cede the sub-$200 iPad market to Android?

Prepare for another chorus of “Overpriced, greedy Apple is ripping off its ignorant, stupid customers again by charging $400 for the crappy iPad when superior Google tablets are only $200.”

iJack

I think Steve Jobs was right that the 7? form factor is awkward, but?

It looks pretty good to me, especially for holding with one hand.

skipaq

It is hopefully a good product; but a 7” iPad has been in development long before now. The price point is low enough to create interest. If it proves to be capable it should sell.

archimedes

It looks pretty good to me, especially for holding with one hand.

Perhaps I should explain a bit.

Jobs said (if I remember correctly) that they tried a number of sizes for the iPad and iPhone, and found that the phone-sized device was ideal for holding in your hand and putting in your pocket, that the iPad-sized device was ideal for apps that need more screen size, and that the 7” size neither fit in your pocket nor lent itself to a quality larger-sized app experience.

So, when I said “I think Steve Jobs was right that the 7” form factor is awkward” that is the reasoning that I’m agreeing with.

There are a few counterexamples - paperback books, Moleskine notebooks, e-readers, and the Newton are all closer to the 7” form factor, and the DSi XL and PS Vita are both bulkier than a typical phone - but I expect the main selling point is not that people are clamoring for smaller screens but rather that it only costs half as much as an iPad.

Amazon and B&N have already demonstrated that there is a market for sub-$200 tablets, and HP has demonstrated that there’s an even larger market for 10” tablets that cost $99. Unless Apple changes its strategy or has some very impressive component pricing up its sleeve, I expect it to continue to ignore the sub-$200 iPad market just as it ignores the sub-$500 PC market.

Paul Goodwin

Archimedes. I agree. The price will allow more people to buy a tablet, and the screen size is not the attraction. It’s certainly better than viewing on a phone, but if you picked this and the iPad up and used them side by side, the iPad will clearly win because of it’s nearly ideal form factor as a tablet.

If you want to use the device as a web browser, using a full browser, the iPad size is great, and 7 inches will be disappointing. If you want to use the apps for viewing sites - like the Amazon app, or the Facebook app etc, the cheesed down app version of the sites will view OK, but they are usually disappointing compared to the full browser versions of the sites.

I doubt Apple will try to compete in the $200 tablet low profit margin game for the same reasons they don’t compete in the cheap computer market. You can’t make money without a decent profit margin, and the more small tablets there are, the less there is for each Mfr.

It’s great that they are putting out the product though. Keeps apple on their toes. The Nexus 7 looks like a nice machine at a good price. The experience on one won’t be as good as using an iPad, but for a lot of people, it will give them a better experience than trying to web surf on their phones. And will enable a lot of people to at least have a tablet device who couldn’t afford the larger device.

iJack

...the 7? size neither fit in your pocket nor lent itself to a quality larger-sized app experience.

So, when I said ?I think Steve Jobs was right that the 7? form factor is awkward? that is the reasoning that I?m agreeing with.

Gotcha.  SJ also said that anything smaller that 8” screen is useless, or something to that effect.  Over the past year, the “iPad Mini” rumors coming from China have been consistent in saying that it would have a 7.85” diagonal screen.

As for fitting in the pocket, maybe cargo pants will make a comeback.  iPants, anyone?
wink

archimedes

As for fitting in the pocket, maybe cargo pants will make a comeback.? iPants, anyone?

And many women’s clothes don’t have usable pockets anyway, so the “fits in your pocket” requirement may be irrelevant to half of the adult population, although “fits in your hand” may still be important.

jfbiii

I wonder if Apple will have to create a 7? iPad or will they cede the sub-$200 iPad market to Android?

Apple doesn’t care about markets because someone else is having success there. They care about markets when they can be successful in them at a margin of more than 30%. Apple will not enter a race to the bottom. They don’t care if they don’t sell a product to someone who is indiscriminate about everything except price. Note that Apple hasn’t released a crap phone to compete with the low end no margin Android phones even at the cost of market share (which they also don’t care about). They’ve kept older model iPhones around, but it’s a totally different proposition.

Ask why didn’t Google release a 10” tablet? 10” tablets are obviously wildly successful. Are they just going to cede the over $400 market to iOS? The answer is not that everyone wants a 7” tablet. The answer is that it’s easier to “compete” with Apple when you’re not trying to play Apple’s game.

skipaq

Apple does care about providing great solutions. The 7” form factor is not something I or my wife would be interested in. But we would buy that size product for our children if they were still of grade school age. We would not even consider buying each of them an iPad 2 at today’s discount.

The 7” size is a good experience for that huge market that parents will spend on. And Apple is very interested in this market. Think of iBooks, education and gaming. These will play well on this sized devise and there is enough profit margin here for Apple to make these.

MacFrogger

Skipaq,

That’s a really good insight re 7” form factor - perfect for the kids!

stilep

“It will be curious to see if Apple responds with a smaller, cheaper iPad. I say they do.”

They didnt respond to cheap pcs with cheaper notebooks or desktops. They didnt respond to cheaper smartphones with cheaper iphones either.

I think apple is going to once again bet on the fact that people want to be seen at starbucks or on the train into work messing with an apple product rather than anything else, regardless of price.

jfbiii

We would not even consider buying each of them an iPad 2 at today?s discount.

I believe that’s an indication that you’re more discriminate on price rather than a great solution. The 7” form factor is always going to have an asterisk after it: *great for kids; *cheaper than iPad; *etc.

As to the idea that “there is enough profit margin” here for Apple to make these, I don’t believe there is. Rubin says they’re selling at $199 for zero margin. Presumably Apple could squeeze more out of $199 than anyone else could, but I doubt it’s enough to get to 30%. To Apple, great solutions drive high margins. If an otherwise great solution doesn’t have a market at a high enough margin, they aren’t going to think it’s a great solution.

skipaq

Apple does not need to match the $199 price to sell Aton of these. It will come in around $249-269. That will provide the profit margin for this product.

iJack

It will come in around $249-269

That’s an acceptable price.

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