So, the Google Nexus 7 is the hot ticket right about now. And so it should be. Despite the substantial leaks and rumors leading up to yesterdays announcement -- including the accidental posting of that video, it still blew the doors off when Hugo Barra officially unveiled it duriong the day 1 keynote at Google I/O. A stock Google tablet, running the latest version of Android, sold cheaply, and directly from Google. It's almost too good to be true, but, how did the Nexus 7 come about? In short, pretty quickly.
Andy Rubin, and Asus Chairman, Jonney Shih, have been speaking to AllThingsD about the origins of the Nexus 7. Google provided Asus with the challenge -- build a high end tablet, that could sell at $200, and they had just 4 months to get it done.
Shih also sent members of his team to work at Mountain View, so as to put them closer to Google, and to have a 24 hour development cycle. While it seems as though Asus may just have pulled off mission impossible, Rubin has heaped the praise onto the Taiwanese OEM.
He said that I don’t think there would have been any other partner that could move that fast.,” and that “we went from zero to working product in four months.” Whichever way you look at it, 4 months to release a completely new product from scratch, running a completely new version of Android, is pretty darn impressive. Hats off, to Asus.
Rubin also acknowledges the lack of a content ecosystem, has played a big part in the, thus far, poor uptake of Android tablets. With the release of a $200 tablet, and the additional content announced for Google Play, Google have themselves a device that could compete on a level playing field with the Amazon Kindle Fire. And, a high-end device at that.
And then comes the money. In getting a high end device out at a rock bottom price, the Nexus 7 will be sold with next to no margins. Being sold through the Play Store, Google also absorbs all the marketing costs of the Nexus 7. One of the big questions on every ones lips now is, what will this do to the Android tablet market as a whole?