When asked during today’s Google earnings call about Google’s future plans with tablets, CEO Larry Page furthered the rumor that Google is working on its own low-cost tablet. Or at least working with other vendors to bring them to market.
“We’re very excited about tablets,” he said. “Obviously there’s been a lot of success on some lower-price tablets that run Android, maybe not the full Google version of Android. But we definitely believe that there’s going to be a lot of success at the lower end of the market as well with lower price products… It’s definitely an area we think is important and we’re quite focused on. “
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Google could be setting up to follow a similar playbook as it did with smartphones: In addition to supporting developers and manufacturers who release their own products, the company also has one smartphone product that it takes a special interest in and controls more carefully: the Nexus.
CNET Executive Editor Roger Cheng believes that Google’s entrance into the low-cost tablet market would cast a pall over the segment for other manufacturers. However, these other manufactures (with the exception of Amazon, with its Android-based $199 Kindle Fire), have not be wildly successful in the Android tablet market. A burr under their saddles, courtesy of Google, may help the market as much as it confounds manufacturers — except for Asus, with whom Google is thought to be partnering for this product.