Google is, according to several sources, about to unveil a tablet computer that it plans to sell for just $199, a price that could cause problems for Apple’s iPad which sells for nearly two and a half times that amount. Mail Online is reporting that it has an inside source that says the table, to be officially called the Nexus 7, will of course be running the Google developed Android operating system and will be seven inches, available in black or white and will be priced from $199 to $25 depending on the options chosen. Computer World, also catching wind of Google’s new tablet notes that the price range is similar to the Kindle Fire and Nook, which could cause problems for Amazon and Barnes & Noble as it makes buying either seem rather moot, since the tablet from Google will be much more versatile. CNET says that it expects Google to show off the Nexus 7 at a developer’s conference next week and argues that it’s Microsoft and their Surface computer that should be worried about Google’s new tablet, not Apple.
At this point, speculating about what the introduction of a very low priced tablet from Google might mean in the market place is about as exact as predicting sports results, what’s more clear is that Google really is about to announce a new tablet that it has designed and built itself, like Microsoft has done with its Surface tablet, rather than rely on third parties to develop the best hardware for its software, and that marks a significant change in the hardware market, and may eventually lead to lawsuits by traditional hardware makers claiming a monopoly by the big three software makers for hand-held devices, Apple, Microsoft and Google. More importantly, for customers, Daily Mail points out, is that by selling a tablet for a much lower price than anyone else, Google is possibly setting in motion a price war, that it’s a great position to win. It doesn’t need to make a profit on its hardware after all, it has that search engine after all that still pulls in a lot of revenue. But by offering hardware at such a low price, Google is likely to drive other’s out of the business, leaving fewer choices for consumers, though much lower prices; at least in the short term.
It’s a dangerous ploy, agrees Computer World saying that in selling its own tablet, Google is telling the world that third party hardware makers aren’t up to the task, a move that could backfire if the Nexus 7 fails to ignite the market.