Last week we posted that Google had selected ASUS to help build a low-cost Android tablet, and now Digitimes is reporting a similar story. According to their industry sources, Google and ASUS will release a 7-inch co-branded tablet as early as May with a price of $199-249.
Digitimes does not mention any other specs, but our sources previously told us the device would feature a 7-inch 1280×800 resolution display, quad-core Tegra 3 processor, and ship with a stock version of Android 4.x.
Sources say that Google was seeking a Taiwan-based partner to produce the device and approached Acer and HTC before deciding on ASUS. Acer “did not have in-house R&D capability” and HTC was “unwilling to develop a low-price model to impair its brand image”.
Earlier rumors suggested this device might not launch until June, so it’s interesting to see that the timeline might have been moved up. Google is normally known for delaying their flagship Android products, so this would be a first if they shipped one early.
If May is the target launch date, we could see Google and ASUS reveal this tablet at the CTIA Wireless convention in New Orleans on May 8-10.
Even though Digitimes says the price could be between $199-249, we strongly believe it will debut at $199 as this device will be marketed as a Kindle Fire killer.
We also thought that this device might be branded Google Play, but it turned out that was the name for Google’s new online content stores. I’ll go out on a limb and predict it might now be called Nexus Play.
Our audience was quite excited with the original rumor report with one reader proclaiming, “I will push small children over to get to it.” If all the details turn out to be true, Google and ASUS could have an instant winner on their hands.