Its only three months since the official unveiling of Asus made Google Nexus 7 tablet and the rumor mills are now churning about another tablet from the same partnership.
According to a latest Digitimes report, Google and Asus are rumored to be working on a $99 Nexus tablet, which is slated to be released during the Christmas season. The report relies upon the details revealed by an unknown source in the supply chain of the Taiwanese manufacturer claims that a thinner versions of the Nexus priced at $99 and $199 will hit the retail shelves by the end of 2012 in order to pose a threat to the highly rumored Apple iPad Mini.
But analysts predict that Google will have to make many sacrifices to retail a tablet at $99 as the cost of materials of 8GB Nexus 7 is $151 (retails approx. at Rs 17,500) and that of the 16GB version is $159 (retails approx. at Rs 21,500). It is to be noted that the most expensive components of the device are the touchscreen display and the processor.
However, the report claims that it is possible as Asus will make use of TN (Twisted Nematic) display panel made by HannStar Display to reduce its cost. These panels consume lesser power and are relatively cheaper to manufacture. Also, the Taiwanese manufacturer could use a cheaper Qualcomm processor rather than the Tegra 3 chipset.
Google could also choose to reduce the price of the device with some advertising, similar to what Amazon choose to do with the new Kindle Fire tablets. Also, it could sell a 3G version of the tablet for a contract with the wireless carriers.
If Google could introduce a $99 Android tablet, it will definitely be a good buy as compared to the other tablets including the new Kindle Fire and Nook HD. The lower price tag will also encourage the consumers to buy it and upgrade their devices.
Moreover a Nexus 7 tablet for under $100 (approx. Rs 5,200) would be a great competitor to the Apple iPad – the major dominator in the global tablet market as it is about one fifth the price of the latter.