In Google’s earnings call today, CEO Larry Page was asked about the company’s future plans for tablets, and his response just about confirms the rumor that an affordable tablet is coming from Mountain View. This is what he said:
“We’re very excited about tablets. Obviously there’s been a lot of success on some lower-price tablets that run Android, maybe not the full Google version of Android. But we definitely believe that there’s going to be a lot of success at the lower end of the market as well with lower price products… It’s definitely an area we think is important and we’re quite focused on. “
Does this mean a Google tablet would be the next Nexus device? Maybe. The Nexus line was not really a “budget” series, but more of a reference line that helps establish a baseline that other manufacturers can work from, and developers can play with. Of course, with Amazon’s success with the low-cost Kindle Fire, it’s obvious that a smaller, affordable, 7-inch tablet can be a lucrative segment to target. Just because a tablet is relatively inexpensive does not mean it’s not a good device, so it could very well be worthy of the Nexus moniker.
How Google’s entrance in this market will affect other manufacturers has yet to be seen, but there are some who believe it could make it difficult for them to compete. However, most manufacturers have yet to be successful in this segment, and I believe Google’s entry could serve as a roadmap and catalyst for them to improve their offerings and provide some more competition.