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Google Says 10-inch Android Tablets are “Underpowered and Overpriced”

Yesterday, I wrote a piece about why and how Google is so bent on providing the Nexus 4 for cheap here, and why this is a potential problem for most retailers and device manufacturers who are used to making insane profits on hardware alone.  Google, just like Amazon, is changing the way customers pay for hardware and software, and this is evident in their marketing structures where the companies barely make any profits on the devices they sale.

We saw this happen the first time ever with Nexus 7 tablet, which, despite boasting of a quad-core processor and 2 GB RAM, sold for less than $200 for the 16 GB version.  Google now says that most 10 inch android devices on the market today are sold for much more than what they are worth barely two weeks after the launch of the Nexus 10 tablet whose price tag is $399 for the 32 GB version and $499 for the 64 GB.  This tablet is expected to hit the stores on November 13th (a week from today).

Nexus 7 was a big success for Google, selling out within a couple of hours after release, will Nexus 10 be such a big hit too?  The Nexus 10 was made by Samsung, a company reputed for quality hardware but with its own Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 in the market which will be selling for the pretty much same price.

Google’s director of business development – Android division John Lagerling talked to The New York Times(http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/android-nexus-strategy/) and said that the company partners with hardware manufacturers to give the end user the best price for a quality device.  Google partnered with Samsung for the first Galaxy Nexus phone, with LG for the Nexus 4 smartphone and with Asus for the Nexus 7 mini tablet.  The company’s first 10 inch tablet was manufactured in partnership with Samsung.

“It’s not so much fairness as it is to sort of work with partners who happen to be in good ‘phase match’ with us in what we’re trying to do.” Ligerling said “Samsung just happens to be in a good phase match on a high-end display, which is exactly what we wanted to do at a low cost. LG had a good phase match with the hardware they were working on. Asus as well. It’s just more about the timing being right.”

He says that Google pushed the envelope with the Nexus 7 tablet like no other company has ever done – in terms of performance and price and it proved that offering cheap quality tablets is possible.  He says that Google felt that the 10-inch tablet category is underpowered and overpriced, and that is why the company decided to venture into the fray with the Nexus 10 tablet.  He further said that although Google owns Motorola, it will be treated like any other hardware partner.  If Motorola was developing a Nexus device, he said, it would bid just like other companies do.

“There are players in the industry who were unhappy about more competitive pricing for the consumers. They want to keep the prices high, they want to force the price to be so high that operators have to subsidize the devices very highly. They want higher margins, they want to charge more for software” he said.

The prices of Nexus Android devices make them better value for the end user, although most end users view them with suspicion because of the low price.

Overview of the Nexus 10 tablet specs

Processor: 1.5 GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos 5 CPU with quad-core Mali T-604 GPU

Operating system: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Memory: 2 GB RAM, choice of 32 GB and 64 GB internal memory

Display: 10.1 inch 2560 x 1600 pixels resolution (~300ppi display density) screen

Cameras: 5 megapixels rear, 1.9 megapixels front

Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, USB 2.0, HDMI Micro

Build: 6.99 x 10.35 x 0.35 in, 1.33 lb

Battery: Li-polymer 9000 mAh