The Google Tab has long been rumored. Ever since Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0, their latest mobile operating system) came out last year, details of the next version have been speculated upon. Google, for its part, sometime ago finally revealed the name of the next version. It’s going to be called Jelly Bean. Along with the launch of Jelly Bean software, Google is rumored to be launching a 7-inch tablet for $199 and be the first device running the Jelly Bean software.
Will the price be sub-$200?
Google wants to keep this tablet at a price point of around $149-$199 but keeping the price down is the reason that this device has been pushed back to July according to a report by The Verge. It is rumored to be shown off at the Google I/O developer conference that begins on June 27th and is expected to hit the shelves sometime in July.
What will be the specifications?
Since the date of launch is so near (only a month and a half away), the tablet has to be in the testing phase. This morning, reports started surfacing about the specifications of the tablet and the benchmarks. The 7-inch tablet has hit the benchmark sites. It sports a Nvidia Tegra 3, quad-core 1.3, A9 CPU. It is running Android 4.1, labelled “JRN51B”, at the moment, which is likely the version number for Jelly Bean, though some say that it will be version 5.0 when it launches in July. It’s also got a 720p (768×1280) resolution screen.
ASUS to be the hardware partner
As has been confirmed before, the tablet will be made in partnership with Taiwan’s Asustek Computer (or better known as ASUS). Apparently the first version of this tablet will be Wi-Fi only with no plans at the moment to launch a 3G or 4G version. This might be in part due to efforts to keep the price down. Rightware’s Power Board, as of this morning, has posted one benchmark result for a tablet going by the name “Google Asus Nexus 7”. The benchmark has only been run once but hopefully it’ll be put through the tests much more vigorously over the next few weeks.
Another rumor that was posted last week was by industry blog Digitimes. They claimed from their supplier sources that the suppliers will build 600,000 of these tablets for the first run. They also said that the company will probably ship 2 to 2.5 million units total this year.
Five jelly bean products by the end of the year?
An earlier report from TabTimes claimed that Google wants to launch five Jelly Bean smart phones and tablets by the end of 2012. The reports say that Google will work with five different hardware manufacturers. This is a big push for the next version of Google’s Android operating system. What is surprising is, why they are all of a sudden dropping the push for Ice Cream Sandwich when only 7% of phones and tablets currently running are running the Android 4.0 version. According to the Wall Street Journal, the first of these five devices will be coming in November and all five of them will definitely have the Jelly Bean version automatically preloaded on them.
The Google tab’s competition
The Google Tablet is aiming to be the first sub $200 Tegra 3 tablet out there. This is actually quite possible, with the CEO of Nvidia, earlier this year, claiming that sub $200 Tegra 3 tablets are definitely coming in the second half of the year. They especially want to compete with Amazon’s own Kindle Fire that launched late last year, at a price of $199 and did quite well for itself. There are also claims that Apple will be launching a cheaper 7.85-inch screen tablet that is expected to be priced aggressively. So, Google wants a head start with Apple and wants to corner the 7-inch market before anyone else gets there. This is quite possible, especially if the Jelly Bean version is a significant improvement over the Ice Cream Sandwich version. The biggest advantage, if reports are true, that the Google Tablet will have, is that it will be powered by a Tegra 3 CPU which might just be a significant game changer.
We now have less than one month till Google’s I/O developer conference, so it shouldn’t be long till the next benchmark pops up. The only worry is, that Apple may announce a 7.85-inch tablet at their WWDC conference (starting on June 11th). Whatever the case, this Google Tablet is expected to be a significant game changer in the market.