New Google tablet “Could be free”

  • Posted: 18 August 2010 12:36 PM

    So Google could be giving away their Chrome tablet with a Verizon contract.

    Yes, our source tells us that Google is building a Chrome OS tablet. It’s real, and it’s being built by HTC. No surprise there, since HTC churned out the Nexus One for Google.

    Yes, they plan to offer it in conjunction with Verizon—which probably doesn’t come as a shock to anybody at this point. The two recently tag-teamed that Net Neutrality proposal and they’ve had plenty of discussions in the past about cooperating in some capacity.

    As for the launch date of November 26th, well, that’s all kinds of brilliant. It’s Black Friday 2010 and the busiest shopping day of the year in the U.S.—so what better day to have a shiny new tablet in the cabinet at Verizon kiosks and stores all over the country? You can bet Google’s Chrome OS tablet will be heavily subsidized, and I’d go so far as to say it will be substantially cheaper than the iPad—if not totally free—with a Verizon data contract.

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  • Posted: 18 August 2010 02:07 PM #1

    rattyuk - 18 August 2010 03:36 PM

    So Google could be giving away their Chrome tablet with a Verizon contract.

    Yes, our source tells us that Google is building a Chrome OS tablet. It’s real, and it’s being built by HTC. No surprise there, since HTC churned out the Nexus One for Google.

    Yes, they plan to offer it in conjunction with Verizon—which probably doesn’t come as a shock to anybody at this point. The two recently tag-teamed that Net Neutrality proposal and they’ve had plenty of discussions in the past about cooperating in some capacity.

    As for the launch date of November 26th, well, that’s all kinds of brilliant. It’s Black Friday 2010 and the busiest shopping day of the year in the U.S.—so what better day to have a shiny new tablet in the cabinet at Verizon kiosks and stores all over the country? You can bet Google’s Chrome OS tablet will be heavily subsidized, and I’d go so far as to say it will be substantially cheaper than the iPad—if not totally free—with a Verizon data contract.

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    Will Google’s Chrome tablet OS be able to run Android applications? If not, Apple’s lead is much larger than it appears.

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  • Posted: 18 August 2010 03:23 PM #2

    Well how would you like to be an Android hardware developer and face that pricing model from your OS “partner”?  These firms that have endorsed Android must wonder what they got themselves into from time to time.  All the Android phone manufacturers are being pitted against each other by Google, in a world where hardware is a commodity.  The only way to compete is to keep up an insane hardware development cycle so that your phone matches up well with the next guy.  You no longer have any real capacity to differentiate with software, because everyone has free access to the same code base.

    If I was running the phone division of a major manufacturer, I would hate the lack of control in my own development cycle.  When Google updates Android, what do I do?  Go back and update all the install base?  Part of it? None of it?  You can’t just slam a new OS into a phone and have a stable product.  Every time Google twitches like this, you are forced to either spend money on validating it with your existing phones or saying tough luck to your customers who are clamoring for some new feature that Google just announced.

    Apple’s regimented, once per year update cycle must seem like a serene walk in the park compared to the Android-fueled chaos that their competitors are forced to deal with. 

    Android must have looked like a lifeline to guys like Motorola, but in grabbing it, they have ceded a significant chunk of their independence to a “partner” that is going to do whatever they feel like, whether or not it hurts even their best partners.  These companies are heading to true commodity status faster than they know.  Margin erosion has to follow.  Someone on here called Android a “siren song”.  I think that deep inside Motorola, HTC, and others they must be feeling that exact emotion.

         
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    Posted: 18 August 2010 03:35 PM #3

    Lstream - 18 August 2010 06:23 PM

    Well how would you like to be an Android hardware developer and face that pricing model from your OS “partner”?  These firms that have endorsed Android must wonder what they got themselves into from time to time.  All the Android phone manufacturers are being pitted against each other by Google, in a world where hardware is a commodity.  The only way to compete is to keep up an insane hardware development cycle so that your phone matches up well with the next guy.  You no longer have any real capacity to differentiate with software, because everyone has free access to the same code base.

    If I was running the phone division of a major manufacturer, I would hate the lack of control in my own development cycle.  When Google updates Android, what do I do?  Go back and update all the install base?  Part of it? None of it?  You can’t just slam a new OS into a phone and have a stable product.  Every time Google twitches like this, you are forced to either spend money on validating it with your existing phones or saying tough luck to your customers who are clamoring for some new feature that Google just announced.

    Apple’s regimented, once per year update cycle must seem like a serene walk in the park compared to the Android-fueled chaos that their competitors are forced to deal with. 

    Android must have looked like a lifeline to guys like Motorola, but in grabbing it, they have ceded a significant chunk of their independence to a “partner” that is going to do whatever they feel like, whether or not it hurts even their best partners.  These companies are heading to true commodity status faster than they know.  Margin erosion has to follow.  Someone on here called Android a “siren song”.  I think that deep inside Motorola, HTC, and others they must be feeling that exact emotion.

    Well said. However, feature phones compete by gathering together different groups of features. I suspect that same will happen to Android when OEMs cease trying to be all things to all people.

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    Posted: 18 August 2010 04:04 PM #4

    jeffi - 18 August 2010 05:07 PM

    Will Google’s Chrome tablet OS be able to run Android applications? If not, Apple’s lead is much larger than it appears.

    Chrome OS focus is on cloud based computing and uses web apps like apple started with on iPhone 1.  Currently Android native apps are not supported, Apps are webkit based.


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  • Posted: 18 August 2010 04:14 PM #5

    I don’t think Google ever claimed that Android would be their tablet solution. Because of it’s open nature however hardware companies have picked it up and run with it. Unfortunately Google has other ideas and this is just the soft of chaos that would ensue.

    They are planning a release on black friday (maybe to grab queues on the day when everywhere has queues - perhaps for some photographic / press coverage) but really if they are leaving it so late in the holiday season to release this thing they are going to have a hard time going up against Apple and the iPad - even if they do give it away.

    Lots of rumors of stuff coming but I think Apple has a pretty clear shot at this years holiday season with little to no competition to go up against for the christmas presents under the tree.

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    Posted: 18 August 2010 05:22 PM #6

    rattyuk - 18 August 2010 07:14 PM

    I don’t think Google ever claimed that Android would be their tablet solution. Because of it’s open nature however hardware companies have picked it up and run with it. Unfortunately Google has other ideas and this is just the soft of chaos that would ensue.

    They are planning a release on black friday (maybe to grab queues on the day when everywhere has queues - perhaps for some photographic / press coverage) but really if they are leaving it so late in the holiday season to release this thing they are going to have a hard time going up against Apple and the iPad - even if they do give it away.

    Lots of rumors of stuff coming but I think Apple has a pretty clear shot at this years holiday season with little to no competition to go up against for the christmas presents under the tree.

    If they are releasing it on Black Friday, I’m sure we will hear real information from Google soon.  As far as free that is a pipe dream.  Go look at what Verizon charges for their netbook monthly data plans.  If I charge you 40 per month for an iPad data plan over a two year subscription vs 30 on ATT.  Then you are still paying for the device just like the subsidized phones.  But I can sell you an iPad maybe for $250.  It will be interesting to see where the likes of Google or HP set their tablet pricing.  If we assume the cost of the parts are in the same range as the iPad $260 for WIFI and $300 for 3G and you subsidize 240 via the Verizon contract that doesn’t leave much to share between HTC and Google, if the consumer can pick one up for free.  Google will get their share in theory via advertising, but how does HTC survive with a loss on each sale.  Its not like HTC has some component pricing advantage over Apple.  The components in the iPad are basically the same as the iPhone 4 and I’m sure very similar to the next gen iPod Touch, and Apple assembles using low cost manufacturing based in China so to get a foothold folks like HTC have zero margin.  It becomes the Walmart business model with less scale compared to Apple.  Most of these companies short change customer service to save dollars which is great until you have a problem.  I’ll stick with Apple where I can actually talk to a human at the genius bar when a problem exceeds my technical expertise.

         
  • Posted: 18 August 2010 11:17 PM #7

    Lstream - 18 August 2010 06:23 PM

    Well how would you like to be an Android hardware developer and face that pricing model from your OS “partner”?  These firms that have endorsed Android must wonder what they got themselves into from time to time.  All the Android phone manufacturers are being pitted against each other by Google, in a world where hardware is a commodity.  The only way to compete is to keep up an insane hardware development cycle so that your phone matches up well with the next guy.  You no longer have any real capacity to differentiate with software, because everyone has free access to the same code base.

    If I was running the phone division of a major manufacturer, I would hate the lack of control in my own development cycle.  When Google updates Android, what do I do?  Go back and update all the install base?  Part of it? None of it?  You can’t just slam a new OS into a phone and have a stable product.  Every time Google twitches like this, you are forced to either spend money on validating it with your existing phones or saying tough luck to your customers who are clamoring for some new feature that Google just announced.

    Apple’s regimented, once per year update cycle must seem like a serene walk in the park compared to the Android-fueled chaos that their competitors are forced to deal with. 

    Android must have looked like a lifeline to guys like Motorola, but in grabbing it, they have ceded a significant chunk of their independence to a “partner” that is going to do whatever they feel like, whether or not it hurts even their best partners.  These companies are heading to true commodity status faster than they know.  Margin erosion has to follow.  Someone on here called Android a “siren song”.  I think that deep inside Motorola, HTC, and others they must be feeling that exact emotion.

    Lstream:

    I almost want to print your post and frame it.  grin

    I said in the iPad wannabe topic Android is/was a stopgap OS. It has no real future and Chrome is what Google is banking on for the future. So now we have hardware makers planning Android tablets that may see their market evaporate before the first product ships.

    If and I say “if” Verion heavily subsidizes a Chrome tablet device, we all know what comes next.  grin

         
  • Posted: 19 August 2010 12:39 PM #8

    There doesn’t seem to be any talk of this Chrome tablet without a monthly contract. I’m guessing they would be offering a version with Wifi only. Although then you couldn’t subsidize it and would have to sell it at the “real” price.

    Lstream’s post was right though: Google just practically pulled the rug out from under their Android developer base. Google is essentially saying that the mobile OS they produce isn’t good enough for a tablet so they are offering Chrome instead. Never mind about that Android thing, we should have told you it was just for phones. Sorry.

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  • Posted: 19 August 2010 01:02 PM #9

    When I fist read the tablet story(s) I assumed it was Chrome as the browser, not the OS. Does Google even have a working demo of Chrome as an OS, running on PCs I assume?

    edit: to be clear, I thought Chrome browser was the interface to Web Apps. And that was the total (limited) experience.

         
  • Posted: 19 August 2010 01:22 PM #10

    Chrome…it went out in the 70s.

         
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    Posted: 19 August 2010 01:50 PM #11

    willrob - 19 August 2010 04:02 PM

    When I fist read the tablet story(s) I assumed it was Chrome as the browser, not the OS. Does Google even have a working demo of Chrome as an OS, running on PCs I assume?

    edit: to be clear, I thought Chrome browser was the interface to Web Apps. And that was the total (limited) experience.

    The Chrome browser is the focus but it is a Web only cloud based OS.  IMO it is Googles vision of cloud computing.  http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/chromiumos-design-docs/software-architecture#TOC-Abstract


    What is Chrome OS

         
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    Posted: 19 August 2010 03:44 PM #12

    The big question to my mind is how will Apple play in the cloud? It’s one of their two app platforms, the curated app store and web apps. I don’t see the cloud as a threat to iOS, since Apple supports both. Apple is probably going to make a killing in the cloud too. But tell me why I’m wrong.

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  • Posted: 20 August 2010 12:56 AM #13

    Blackberry Tablet: Blackpad?

    NOT based on the new Blackberry OS6.

    The BlackPad is designed to capitalise on RIM’s strength with corporate customers, particularly with email service, one person said last month. The tablet will be closely integrated with the BlackBerry’s email system and will have similar security for messaging, the person said.

    Wi-Fi technology

    The BlackPad will include Wi-Fi technology so it can connect to the internet wherever the wireless technology is available, including a home or office. When not near such Wi-Fi ?hotspots, people could connect wirelessly to their mobile phone with Bluetooth technology and then to the internet. The device will not be able to connect directly to the cellular network the way some iPads can, two people said last month.

    RIM is opting to use the QNX operating system to run the BlackPad instead of the new BlackBerry 6 operating system, which is used in the company’s Torch smartphone. RIM called the introduction of the Torch and BlackBerry 6, which includes advanced touch-screen and web browsing technology, ?one of the most significant? in its history.

    http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/blackberry-maker-rim-to-use-crusher-tank-technology-in-tablet-20100820-12v80.html

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  • Posted: 20 August 2010 01:48 AM #14

    adamthompson3232 - 20 August 2010 04:30 AM

    Interestingly, the Google tablet could be free and worthless (at least compared to the iPad) at the same time.

    For some “interestingly.” For me, expected. Now don’t get us both starting on dissing the plan before it appears.  LOL

         
  • Posted: 20 August 2010 01:20 PM #15

    DawnTreader - 19 August 2010 02:17 AM

    Lstream:

    I almost want to print your post and frame it.  grin

    I said in the iPad wannabe topic Android is/was a stopgap OS. It has no real future and Chrome is what Google is banking on for the future. So now we have hardware makers planning Android tablets that may see their market evaporate before the first product ships.

    If and I say “if” Verion heavily subsidizes a Chrome tablet device, we all know what comes next.  grin

    While it seems clear that Android dependency is ugly for the manufacturers, there is no real choice for them but to continue.  Android is a credible ecosystem in the eyes of their customers, and it is getting stronger.  What real choice do they have?  They basically have no hope to create a credible OS vs either Android or iOS. 

    This story makes the case that RIM must make the switch to Android.  I have felt this for a while.  Android + BES + RIM Handsets would be a very credible offering.  Whether RIM has capacity to make such a tough choice remains to be seen, but the performance of the new Torch likely has them seriously thinking about what to do.  If this happens, Apple’s competitive environment is going to get worse.

    So ugly as it is, every Smartphone manufacturer appears to have absolutely no choice but to carry on with Android.  So I think Android definitely has a future, because what other alternative do the handset manufacturers have?  This is part of the reason that I think Apple needs to fix its single carrier vulnerability in the US.  It is way too easy for Android to build market share by default as things currently stand.

    [ Edited: 20 August 2010 01:24 PM by Lstream ]