Nexus 7: Google’s Connection to the Tablet Market
Microsoft launched its Surface tablet on June 18, 2012. Google countered at its I/O developers’ conference on June 27, 2012 with the introduction of its Nexus 7 tablet, complete with a 7-inch screen, a front-facing camera, and a Tegra 3 processor made by Nvidia Corporation, and a US$199 price tag for 8 GB (or US$249 for 16 GB). The Nexus 7, to be available for purchase in July 2012, runs on the latest Android 4.1 operating system called Jelly Bean. The companion Galaxy Nexus smartphone and the Nexus Q social streaming media player will also be available for sale, although Nexus Q is not yet available in Canada. Jelly Bean offers the user quicker speeds and improvements to voice-based searching. Google is producing the Nexus 7 in partnership with Asustek Computer Inc. of Taiwan.
Various media reports suggest that the Nexus 7 is a direct competitor to Amazon's Kindle Fire (many of the specifications in both tablets are similar: both tablets have wi-fi but Nexus 7 also has Bluetooth and NFC capability; Kindle Fire uses the Android 2.3.4 operating system; but Google has not yet announced a cloud computing storage option for Nexus 7 that is comparable to Amazon's cloud computing services) as well as the Nook Tablet. Like Microsoft did with its Surface tablet, Google is now in direct competition with its hardware partners as well; arguably unlike Microsoft (which has yet to set a price for the Surface), Google may be selling the Nexus 7 at less than cost with the eventual goal of making money by selling content and apps in a manner akin to that adopted by Apple. Also, unlike Microsoft limiting access to the Surface tablet at its launch, people were able to try out Google's Nexus 7 at the I/O developers' conference and related events.