Google has unveiled its own Google-branded tablet, the Nexus 7, attempting to win with a strategy in the tablet space that failed miserably in the smartphone segment. Namely, the search behemoth is going to be competing with its own progeny.
With the $199 7-inch entry, Google will be competing against other low-cost tablets based on its Android operating system, as well as to some extent the higher end of the market: the iPad and the just-announced Windows 8-based Microsoft Surface. The gadget is built and branded in conjunction with Asus, a low-cost leader with other Android tablets on the market.
The Nexus One smartphone plied the same strategic waters - competing with its own ecosystem - and ultimately failed miserably as customers were confused by the sales strategy and connectivity options, and were ultimately turned off by the handset. It could be different in the tablet arena, however. Specs include a front-facing camera, film-friendly 1280 HD screen, and a fast Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. In addition, the Nexus runs the video-optimised Jellybean version of Android, which the company said is faster and offers a Siri-like voice search capability.
Android's Achilles Heel in the tablet space has been the fragmentation of the OS. Last summer the Honeycomb version came out, the first built for tablets, but with a small pool of developers - and therefore tablet-focused apps - that particular 'flavour' has been a dragging issue for Android. With Google itself driving Jellybean, and the video-oriented bells and whistles not found in its other economy-class brethren, Google could win out with its strategy.