Gizmodo Australia reports seeing the Google training document around its long-rumored branded tablet device, and the “Nexus 7” aspires to be more of a Kindle Fire killer than an iPad contender. The 7-inch device is expected to be unveiled at Google’s I/O conference this week. It will be priced at $199 for an 8GB model and $249 for 16GB and will have speedy process and graphics chops. Asus is responsible for building the hardware for Google.
Most notably, the Nexus 7 will have built-in NFC (near-field communication) technology so that it can run Google’s Wallet m-payment solution. This helps Google expand the reach of its struggling m-payment solution, although it is unclear that consumers really want to carry and yank out their tablet to make payments at in-store terminals.
Gizmodo Australia says the leaked document shows the new tablet running the next generation of Android, dubbed “Jelly Bean.”
Google taking aim at Amazon makes sense, given Amazon’s relative success in leveraging a forked version of Android on its Kindle Fire. Amazon is the first tablet maker to break through the clutter of Android-based tablets, to secure 54% of devices on this platform, according to comScore. For now at least, chasing the iPad for market share in the larger-screen tablet segment is daunting.
Recent projections suggest that the Apple share of the tablet market will only grow this year, even as Android-based competitors flood the market. While Amazon made a splash last holiday with its Fire, selling an estimated 4 million to 5 million units, analysts see demand waning quickly this year. Nevertheless, more contenders are coming. Microsoft announced its forthcoming Surface tablets running versions of Windows 8 and competing directly with the iPad. There are also continued rumors that Amazon will release a new version of the smaller Kindle Fire model, and eventually a larger-scale model.