San Francisco, CA
Yesterday Google held their annual conference for developers and unveiled their new 7 inch tablet, the Nexus 7, during a conference at Google I/O that featured sky divers, stunt bikers and professional adventure seekers rappelling down the side of a building while streaming live video to conference participants.
Priced at $199 the Nexus 7 features a lightweight design, 7″ inch screen, and high-definition display.
The Nexus 7 is similar in size to Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet which were released last year and priced at $199.
Nexus 7 operates Google’s new version of its Android mobile operating system, Jelly Bean, which developers tested yesterday and will come to some Android devices in July.
Nexus 7 uses lightning fast Nvidia 1.3 GHz Tegra 3 Quad-core CPU for its processor.
Nexus 7 users can access Google cloud for cloud storage and the tablet runs with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC.
Nexus 7 has a Google search feature that works offline and competes with Apple’s Siri virtual assistant. The tablet comes eqipped with a camera on the front of the tablet and 1,280-by-800-pixel display.
Nexus 7 tablet will be manufactured by Asus, a Taiwanese hardware maker and released in July. Pre-orders are already occurring on Google Play.
Nexus 7 and the Tablet Ecosystem
Apple dominates the high end with its 2048 x 1536 Retina Display on the 9.7 inch new i-Pad while the Nexus 7 is expected to compete well against Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet in the more affordable 7” tablet market which appeals to users seeking a portal for media access, social networking, e-reading, apps, and gaming.
Google is following Amazon’s lead to subsidize a smaller 7″ tablet and find a successful niche in the “middle to low end “of the tablet market while seeking to establish a greater overall footprint with their content offerings and online presence, especially after new reports surfaced that Apple is discontinuing Google maps for their users.
Besides operating a hugely successful international search engine, Google offers a site called Google Play, an online market for books, magazines, music, movies & T.V., U-Tube, and Android apps. Google also operates Google Plus, a social networking site that rivals Facebook.
Amazon is a formidable competitor for Google’s Nexus 7 with their 7 ” Amazon Kindle Fire tablet which they sell at an attractive price point, subsidized with low profit margins, aimed to help generate more revenue for Amazon Prime which offers movies & T.V., music, Amazon’s apps, and a huge online bookstore.
Amazon offers a yearly streaming subscription to Amazon Prime member which comes with free 2 day shipping at Amazon.com, the largest online retail site.
Amazon has earned a loyal following with their Kindle Fire tablet market partly due to the huge retail appeaal of Amazon.com which Google lacks.
The Nexus 7 will also be competing against other larger Android tablets (E.G. Samsung, Motorola et al. ) which runs on Android software and competes directly with Apple’s i-Pad in terms of its size and functionality.
Microsoft unveiled its own new tablet, the Surface, earlier this month which was released to complement its latest operating system, Windows 8.
Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White issued a note to investors concerning a potential threat from the Nexus 7 to the Apple i-Pad.
Brian White said that he does not see much of a threat with the Nexus 7 and believes that it is more likely to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
“We believe the combination of Apple’s expanding digital grid, innovative design, unmatched aesthetics, leading App availability (with 225,000 native iPad Apps), intuitive user interface and expanding technology innovations will continue to keep the Company on top of the tablet market for many years to come,” White said.
During yesterday’s conference Google showcased a pair of Internet connected glasses that they began secretly building more than two years ago.
Google announced that it’s selling a prototype of the glasses to U.S. computer programmers attending the three-day conference.
Developers willing to pay $1,500 for a pair of the glasses will receive them early next year.
The glasses are described as light, weighing less than some sunglasses, and are able to capture moving images, like a baby smiling or jumping in the air, without a camera or electronic device getting in the way.
Some developers are already touting this news technology a “Siri killer” even though it still remains in an early stage of development and has more time before it goes mainstream.
Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google and visionaries (no pun intended) behind Project Glass, told a small group of reporters yesterday during a demo of Project Glass, reported earlier in TechCrunch.
“We want you to be less of a slave to your devices. It’s been really liberating and I’m really excited to share it with all of you.”
Brin said that Project Glass could be the next form factor of computing and mentioned that Google has been in talks with eyeglass makers.