Rumor: Google Working On “Nexus” Tablet to Compete With Kindle Fire (Not iPad)


I’ve mentioned a few times in the past that Google’s biggest competitor could be Amazon who — with the Kindle Fire — has been using the power of Android against Big G having stripped down the OS of it’s Google essence, instead replacing core Google apps with equivalent services of their own. Now, there’s a rumor floating around from sources up in the supply chain that Google is preparing to introduce a tablet to compete not with Apple’s iPad but with the incredibly affordable Kindle Fire. These sources believe Google will launch its own branded tablet sometime in March/April with a 7-inch screen and running Android 4.0 priced at less than $200. I know, sounds a bit “out there” but Google needs to do something if they want to capture the Android tablet market share and no, the Kindle Fire doesn’t count.

What do you guys think? Would a low-low priced 7-inch Ice Cream Sandwich tablet be a good idea?

[Via Digitimes]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Sounds like cannibalism Google.. go for Apple’s jugular not Amazons!

    Apple, high prices, low tech, millions are fed up with Apple’s business model SO go after those effers NOT Amazon, they save millions, gazillions! sooo…

    Everybody loves Amazon don’t they? and Apple is either iSheep or miss, so I say go after the company responsible for ridiculously high priced $500-800 tablet market in the first effing place!

    1. “Let’s take out the company..” Uh, what? “LET’S?” Ok then. let us. But first, Apple are not low tech. As an avid droid user i can say that I completely respect how apple have lead the whole industry to where it is today. 

      I think this tablet is a great idea. It will force apple to either create the next big thing or join suit of low cost tablets. Let me see, what would the avg person go for, low cost ICS, or low cost iOS. Sadly, we know who would win that fight in store.

      1. Apple is low tech.  They are just great at selling minimalist devices, with a brilliant used car salesman as their head for years, great lawyers and a good marketing machine.

        Think about it realistically, had the engineers who came up with the Apple products in the first place didn’t have Steve Jobs to sell it, or the marketing guys to come up with simplistic commercials, no one would have bought their products.   They’re far from high tech, in fact typically lag behind others.   And NO, Steve Jobs DID NOT come up with the iphone or the ipad.   Engineers at Apple along with outside design firms who work with Apple came up with the product design.   He was just there to bless it, take credit and mass market it.  Nothing mroe.

        The bottom line is, without the lipstick on the Apple pig, it would just be a pig.  The iphone would have gone to v2 at best before languishing like the Apple TV and their other failures.

        1. LOL! 
          Apple is low tech?
          Apple and Android had a stellar Christmas weekend with almost the same amount of activations! 
          Some of you fanboys and your hatred of Apple blinds you to reality.  

    2.  ridiculously high priced $500-800 tablet ” Looks at Motorola and HTC

      1. I blame Apple for this. When Moto dropped the first gen XOOM, the iPad was dominating the market at such a high price. Moto believed their product would be a hit (imo it was a great product) and they wanted a piece of that $500-a-pop price tag pie. Unfortunately they were late to the show and way overpriced. Tablets are nice but Android isn’t unified enough to justify it. People buy into iCrap because it syncs with all their other iCrap. It’s like adding a wing to their home. 

        With Android, your tablet doesn’t sync in any way with your computer, phone, Google TV, etc. From day one I’ve wanted Android unification. Imagine if the phone you bought a year ago used the same charger as one you bought today. That’d be great. It’d also be great if that same connector allowed my Galaxy Nexus and ASUS Transformer Prime to connect to the same speaker dock but these OEM’s just have to do their own thing and fragment the hardware AND software. Android is big and I love it but I cant help but feel that its being held back by stupid OEMs. 

        I believe, almost factually, if Google had made Android proprietary and produced their own devices or at least goverend how OEMS had to make theirs, Android would be much bigger than it is.

    3. Apple is rumored to be moving into the 7″ market. This hurt Amazon/Android. Also, nothing is stopping Google from Making a second 10″ model. Right now we all just want bulk Android sold in general, manufacturer/market less important. The more users using Android, the more developers well have making the products we all love.

  2. Id be interested in it

  3. you kiddin me? 2012 will be the year of the 7″ tablets. my personal favorite size anyway. with Nexus branding its a shoe in. 

  4. I think it is smart for google. Low price tablet with high end specs could end up taking sales from the iPad without even trying.

    1. There is NO WAY that this will have high end specs. 

  5. Duel core running at least 1.2ghz, at least 1gb ram, 8gb (at least) memory, sd slot, awesome camera; all of that for less than $200, I’ll be the first in line.

    1. Oh!! So a 7 inch GS2? I kinda lyk that.

  6. I’d definitely be interested.

  7. I have a nook color and a xoom and would still buy a nexus tablet!

    ***edit, I have a problem

    1. Lmao…….same here!!!!

  8. They should do a super high end as well.

    1. Completely agree.  If they’re able to target BOTH the market for Fire customers and iPad customers, they’d have a winner.  Sounds like quite a bit of R&D.  But, finally owning a GNex, I would be first in line for this guy.

      1. It’s not extra R&D. These companies do R&D 24/7 but most of it never sees the light of day.

      2. I’d like to see multiple Nexus tablets AND phones.  One of the advantages to Android is a variety of hardware, but putting a variety of software (i.e. carrier or manufacturer customizations) has been counterproductive.  The way to solve this is to let any manufacturer use the term Nexus for hardware that meets some basic profile requirements and uses the standard software stack.  What it will take for Google to realize this, I have no idea.

        1. I think if Google is going to stick the Nexus name on a product it should be a higher end product or else they risk cheapening the Nexus name. 
          Although with the release of the Galaxy Nexus it seems Google has given up having the Nexus appear like a Google phone. 
          Oh well. 

  9. it really does make sense for google to try to compete with amazon, since the fire doesnt help them. Google will do a much better job at a cheaper tablet than the other companies of the world. i feel they will leave the high end devices to the pc/mobil device manufacturers, like Asus and samsung. 

    who wants to bet it will be made by moto.

    1. My money is on it being a sammy product, what a shame!

  10. i have the Fire and the asus prime. i’d still buy a Google nexus tablet. the fire is just frustrating.

  11. Remember though, amazon makes no money from kindle sales. They expect to make money off of services the kindle charges for (ie. books, apps, etc). I dont see the tablet costing less than 200, AND having high end specs. Maybe 250 or 300 with high end specs, but not <200…

  12. Kinda tired of the Nexus Tab rumors. Put up or shut up. That said I find it intriguing at least.

  13. I’d buy one

  14. STFU! take my money!

  15. without a doubt, the above described tablet would be a game changer, with Google retaining a string upper hand via their Holos requirement.

  16. With 4.5 – 5.3 inch phones being so common now, don’t really see the point of having a 7″ tablet. Then again, if you have a phone with a small screen a la iPhone, then I can see why you’d go for a 7 incher.

    1. I agree. I loved the idea of a 7 in tablet when I had my Incredible. After three weeks with the GNexus, the Incredible now feels like a toy. I don’t think a 7″ tab would be big enough of a difference anymore to justify it. I’d spend 400 on a bada$$ tablet before I spent 200 on Fire/Fire Competitor. 

  17. Assuming it had decent specs, I’d buy this in a heartbeat. My wife bought the OG Galaxy Tab and it was a pretty big let down. It does ok, but it just feels like a very large phone. I like the size of it…anything bigger and it seems like my 13″ MBP would be a more logical choice since it has the being an honest computer thing going for it. 

    A tablet isn’t essential for me, so I’ve been waiting for the perfect one. The Nexus line is traditionally very nice, even if quickly surpassed (but what phones aren’t rapidly one-upped these days?)…if Google did this, I would be very willing to fork over two bills for one. I’m not interested in buying some crap budget tablet, but I’m also not interested in paying 500+ for something I don’t really need either. I’ve been waiting on something that would sell a fair number of units (thus attracting dev support), run current software, would have decent specs, not break the bank or tie me to a carrier, and would be ROM friendly. A sub-200$ Nexus tablet sounds very attractive, as long as that price tag isn’t due to a carrier subsidy. I don’t need a 4G tablet…I have a 4G phone I can tether it to and am almost never without WiFi access.

  18. would be cool of google actually made it themselves so they dont have to brand it a htc or samsung product

    1. They don’t brand their products as HTC or Sumsung, their product is the Android OS. Totally wish Google would make their own hardware though, it’s such a great OS and the other manufacturers don’t do it justice!

  19. You know that if this is true and if it comes with stock android 4.0 the masses will flock to buy it.  Though they say that this is an attempt to compete with the kindle fire and not the ipad seems like a major farce statement because if someone buys one then it is possibly one less person not buying a ipad.

    What I love is that not one single phone manufacture has figured out that if they come out with a phone with solid specs with stock android it will sell to those of us how hate bloatware.  It like you must have nexus in the name of the phone for this to happen but im pretty sure google is not mandating that.  Its more like the phone manufactures say if the carriers are going to stuff their bloatware on the phone we might as well.  This is basically going back to the old school pc you bought what was on the self and liked it.  But that all changed when Gateway then Dell allow you to configure your on PC.  Alot of times it seems we are going backwards instead of forward with innovation.

    1. htc did the g2 besides like 2 t-mobile apps its pure and i love it. its like a nexus with a physical keyboard. only if it would get updates like the nexus.

  20. i bought the fire, but i would love another cheap tablet in the house. Including PCs, another one would make it device per person then. Especially if its pure google experience and not built around amazon eco… i’d be all up in that.

    gotta agree on ‘leave the high end for manufactures like moto and sammy” part. Its kinda cool to hear that android today is so ubiquitous that google’s greatest threat is within “their own guys”.

  21. 7 inch tablets are definitely a NO NO

    1. Horses for courses for ebook reading and satnav 7 is a good size

  22. Integrated with Google Voice, a 7inch phablet would be a winner…

  23. At LEAST a 10inch the Galaxy Tab 10.1 size is perfect. Nothing more nothing less.
    The Galaxy Note is 5inch….7inch is too small….

  24. 7″ ish with a very very thin bezel would be nice. But thanks to samsung and motorola with a wide choice I am now convinced (for me anyway) that something in the 7.7 – 8″  is perfection for me. 8.9 is fine but doesn’t feel perfect to me. 7″ as some have said is not that much bigger than the GN.

    In any case, I’m willing to pay a little more $250-$299 than the fire if it had more hardware (i.e. bluetooth and maybe gps, tegra 3. don’t care about camera)

  25. Gotta give credit where credit is due.  Without Amazon, I don’t think tablet makers would have really come down that much from the $500 mark or it would have taken them a longer time to consider making a $200-$300 price tablet.  I’m glad there are talks of them wanting to come out with more tablets in that price range.

  26. If it’s vanilla Android and has enough power to run well and last a long time then I’m interested.  Google should make 1 lower end tablet and 1 higher end tablet, both with vanilla Android.

  27. They should make a dedicated division of Motorola for their hardware and get some use out of their investment.

  28. Sounds great if it’s true. However, Amazon are selling the Fire at a loss in the hope that they make the money back by users buying books, music etc via Amazon. For Google to produce something at this price point will mean they too would probably need to sell it at a loss and make up the money some how. Possibly via advertising?? I don’t mind the occasional adverts like I see at the moment but if the tablet is peppered with intrusive adverts that really affect user experience then I’d rather pay full price for it.

    1. have you been to the android market?!  Apps, music, books, movies…they sell stuff as well…

      1. Good point, forgot Google take a big slice of profit from those purchases.

  29. Blistering fast speed with a low price. Not too low though

  30. i think the 7″ is a tad too small.
    the 8.9″ is a perfect size imo.

  31. I would like one of these because I’m a huge Google fan but I think some of you are putting way to much emphasis on it having Vanilla Android. I totally want every Android device I own to come with vanilla android but thats because I’m a techaholic and know what it means to have it but the majority of Android users don’t know what Vanilla even means in the tech world. They’re probably going to make the device in a way that allows them to sale the most if they want to compete with Amazon or Apple so be ready for possible boatware.

  32. Smaller tablet, lower cost, with some decent academic applications, we’d be in for 3 of them in a heart beat.

    1. I’d love to see this myself. But anyone who does even a little basic research will quickly find that Apple dominates the academia field (from kid friendly pre-school apps to highly intuitive college level apps) more so than Microsoft does the business arena. It’s almost as if academia developers completely ignore every other platform out there. My wife and I both noticed this trend when trying to find academic apps for PC and Android for our nine year old. Either out dated Windows 95 era stuff thats out of print and hard to find or stuff that’s just flat out boring to look at even for an adult. I would LOVE to see a shift in this arena.

  33. I think doing a Nexus table is a wonderful idea, I’m just not sure how well it’ll fit the target audience.  I have the G-Nex and I love it, but I’m a power user and enjoy rooting, ROMs and the like.  For the average consumer, they want something that just works and don’t have to play or tinker with – which is what the Fire is supposed to be, and what the iPad is.  

    If Google wants to take a swing at the Fire, they need to put out a polished, finished product that will dazzle the average consumer.  I’m not saying a Nexus Tab can’t do that, but based on how they’ve treated the product line in the past, it may not align completely with the needs and desires of the average consumer.  

    1. By your statement, it sounds as if ICS is not polished enough for the “average user”. Yes i love rooting and throwing the newest rom on my phone as much as anyone. I have only rooted for wifi tether. I have absolutely no need to throw a rom on my nexus right now. ICS is the most polished version of android to date and it will only improve!

  34. Hope they aim a little higher than the fire. 7″ isnt enough for me. Actually the only attractive thing about the fire for me is the price. You wont find me buying a fire for myself though. Maybe as a gift for someone that i dont really want to spend that much on, but not for me. Other than the price, there are some nice services, but google can deliver those without getting into the hardware game.

  35. I know how they’ll subsidize. 3g contracts! !

  36. I love my Nook Color because it runs a nearly stock Android experience (Thanks to CyanogenMod), was affordable, and at 7″ it is the perfect half-way between my phone and my laptop. If Google releases one of these, I WANT ONE.

  37. 10″, no 3G, ICS… sold.

  38. Depends on what you mean by “working on.”  If it’s hardware, then what is really being said is Motorola is working on it.  That could backfire, the last thing Google needs is for their OEMs to be gouged in sales.  The OEMs are supporting Android because there’s money to be made, but if they are dropped too low on the sales list, it could disrupt that.  The wise thing to do is see how the OEMs respond to Amazons Fire sales figures, then react accordingly.

    If by “working on” you mean software, they better not repeat the blunders of the N1.  While I would love to see Google commission both Samsung and HTC to make them a competitive tablet, they will need to market it better than they did with the N1.  Google has some great commercials for Chrome, they need to do the same for Android instead of leaving it up to the OEMs and carriers.  They make enough off of Android to justify it.

    Ultimately though, what services could a Nexus tablet offer that the Fire doesn’t? A Nexus would get updates faster but the people who buy Fires probably don’t care, or even know about what level they are running. Google already have apps, books, movies, and now music, what else is there?  More importantly, why aren’t they marketing that already?  Apple wastes no time advertising iTunes, Google should be doing the same with their market services right now.

    But to answer your question, how can any quality 7″ under $200 ICS tablet be a bad thing?

  39. I’m with the consensus here in that 7″ is just too small a form factor. 8.9″ or even 9″ is just right IMHO. 

    Now I know everyone is saying “VANILLA”. I love vanilla because I’m a tech geek and love to tinker with things. Also makes a perfect benchmark for app development. But grandma and grandpa don’t care about vanilla. 

    If Google really is planning on squashing the Fire then they need to focus less on specs and more on providing a smooth, polished, consistent user experience that completely and seamlessly immerses the end-user in Google’s ecosystem and universe right out the box. There should be NO third party apps from OEMs or otherwise on the device. No Facebook, no Amazon, no Nook, nothing. If it’s not part of the Google ecosystem is should not be on it. Pure 100% Google inside and out. 

    Google market should be front and center encouraging the user to get their music, movies, books, and apps right from ONE centralized location. Mail, Gmail, and messaging need to be merged into one app. Google+ should also be front and center and tie into EVERYTHING on the device.

    Now this isn’t to say ICS needs to be skinned in the way OEMs do. No, it still needs to be accessible to power users. We should still be able to load any third party app from the market as well. It should just be all Google out the box.

    Google has all these great products but no marketing push to tie them all together for the average user the way Amazon and Apple do. Until Google does this their Android tablets will just continue to be over priced niche items.

  40.  This seems like Lexus putting its name on a Corolla. 
    I guess if your goal is to cheapen your brand name than have at it Google. 
    I suppose coming up with a different line name would have been too difficult. 

  41. Yes, great idea. Now I don’t have to root a Kindle Fire to make it a for real tablet. 8+” for <$300 please!

  42. Robert, you are aware that Toyota makes Lexus right? Its the same frame…

  43. i’m excited! Bring on the affordability!!!

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