Confirming initial speculations, a Digitimes report now confirms that Google, together with Asus will soon bring in a 7-inch tablet to the market, by May. that Google and Asustek are currently working at introducing, what they refer to as a '7-inch iPad rival'. it's essentially a smaller, cheaper Android tablet, which reportedly would cost the user roughly between $199 – $249. The tablet, which will compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire at launch, will reportedly be built, like the Kindle Fire to play music and video from Google's Play store, and reportedly, at launch, the tablet will be the first in the market to do so. Another report also quoted Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt speaking in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra, as saying, “In the next six months, we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality.“
Big plans for May!
Rumoredly, HTC and not Asus were Google's first choice for partners. However, Google seem to have finally zeroed in on Asus for their ambitious venture. insisted on directing the development of the model, which it would launch with Google. Further, HTC had its reservations developing a low-price model, since it feared that it would mar the brand's image in the market. Acer, one of the other options did not have in-house R&D capability. Finally, Google zeroed in on Asus for the latter's good product quality.
The report further states that, “Asustek's motivation for cooperating with Google is to win Google's confidence to facilitate development of its Android-based devices, learn Google's technology to develop software and content, as well as enter the tablet US market, the sources indicated.“