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Google Tipped To Sell It's Own 7-Inch Android Tablet

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google tipped to sell its own 7-inch Android tablet | ZDNet UK (click for full article)

    "The usually-reliable Wall Street Journal has added its voice to the frenzy of speculation about Google's plans to launch its own 7-inch Android tablet, apparently confirming an earlier report in Digitimes. This would be a brave move, considering that Google's previous hardware efforts -- the Nexus smartphone, Chromebooks and Google TV -- have been disastrous flops.


    The Wall Street Journal's story, Google to Sell Tablets on Its Own This Year, says: "The Internet search company is planning to market and sell tablets directly to consumers through an online store, similar to rivals Apple and Amazon.com Inc."


    The hardware will be made by "existing partners" such as Samsung and Asus, says the Journal, and "Some of the online store's future tablets are expected to be co-branded with Google's name, said people familiar with the matter."


    The Journal, like Digitimes, is not naming its sources, but it notes that Google and Asus declined to comment.


    The story adds: "To boost the prospects of its new online store for tablets, Google has considered subsidizing the cost of future tablets in order to compete on pricing with Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire."


    So Google's hardware partners could see Google competing against them, and undercutting them on price. It's not hard to image the outcry if Microsoft had tried that in the PC market.


    On March 28, Barron's -- which is part of The Wall Street Journal's publishing network -- picked up the Digitimes story, which said much the same thing: Google Teams with Asus for Cheapie Tablet, Says DigiTimes.


    Fewer reports picked up on the major point of the Digitimes story (Google 7-inch tablet PCs to bring price-cut pressure on other vendors), which is that price cuts will destroy the manufacturer's 10-15 percent gross margin.


    Amazon's $199 tablet, the Kindle Fire, is probably selling at a small loss, but it's providing Amazon with a platform to sell ebooks, music, movies and physical goods. Google can probably make up the difference in high-priced advertising. The Asian hardware manufacturers can do neither. "
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google to Sell Tablets on Its Own This Year - WSJ.com (click for full article)

    "Google Inc., GOOG -1.12% undaunted by a short-lived attempt to market and sell smartphones on its own, is now trying the approach with tablet computers in a quest to capture market share from Apple Inc.'s AAPL -1.26% iPad.


    The Internet search company will sell co-branded tablets directly to consumers through an online store like rivals Apple and Amazon.com Inc., AMZN +1.72% according to people familiar with the matter. The move is an effort to turn around sluggish sales of tablet computers powered by Google's Android software.


    Google went this route with Android-powered smartphones in 2010 when it offered a device called the Nexus One made by HTC Corp. 2498.TW -0.50% But the effort was scrapped after several months amid better sales of other Android-powered smartphones.


    Like the Nexus One, some future Android tablets are expected to be co-branded with Google's name, said people familiar with the matter. The company is expected to sell devices from a variety of manufacturers. Google won't make the devices and its existing partners such as Samsung Electronics Co. and AsusTeK Computer Inc. 2357.TW +0.18% will be responsible for the hardware, these people said.


    One co-branded tablet that may be sold in the online store is due to be released later this year by Taiwan-based Asus, said one of these people.


    Details of the project remain unclear, including when Google plans to unveil the online store. Google is expected to release the next version of its Android software, called Jelly Bean, in the middle of this year, people familiar with the matter have said.


    Google will soon manufacture its own tablets, due to its pending $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., MMI -0.13% which has been approved in the U.S. and in Europe and is awaiting approval by Chinese authorities. People familiar with the Google's plans said Motorola tablets are expected to be offered in the online store.


    A Google spokesman declined to comment, as did an Asus spokeswoman.


    By selling tablets directly to consumers, Google is upping the ante against Apple, which debuted its market-leading iPad two years ago. Android-based tablets made by Samsung and others have been slow sellers by comparison. Last fall research firm Gartner estimated Apple would capture 73% of the tablet market versus 17% for Android.


    Google also faces competition from Amazon.com, which last year jumped into tablets with its $199 Kindle Fire, in a move to scoop up the less-expensive side of the market.


    Google is seeking to increase adoption of its Android software so that its search, maps and other services-which generate the vast majority of its mobile revenue through the sale of ads-become mainstays in the mobile-device world.


    While that revenue is small compared to PC-based ad sales, it's a fast-growing category for Google, and tablets can command better ad prices than smartphones. Google Chief Executive Larry Page said last fall the company was on pace to generate more than $2.5 billion in revenue from mobile devices, largely through selling online ads on smartphones.


    Google believes the current model for selling tablets is broken, said people familiar with its strategy. Google has watched as wireless carriers, who helped Android become the No. 1 mobile operating system for smartphones, have struggled to replicate that success with tablets.


    While some wireless industry executives said Google's Nexus One smartphone effort was a failure, Google Android chief Andy Rubin said previously that the company sold more than 100,000 of these phones in three months and "broke even" on its investment.


    Mr. Rubin said Google stopped the effort because other new Android-powered phones were on par with or better than the Nexus One. Google also couldn't figure out how to sell the Nexus One online on a global scale, he said, and its resources would be wasted in trying to line up wireless carriers in foreign countries to sell plans for the phone.


    This time, however, Google won't have to worry about pairing with wireless carriers because tablets are primarily used with WiFi connections in people's homes.


    To boost the prospects of its new online tablet store, Google was considering subsidizing the cost of future tablets in order to compete on pricing with Amazon's Kindle Fire, said one person with knowledge of the effort.


    In addition, Google will lend huge marketing support to the online tablet store, said people familiar with the effort. Since the Nexus One experiment, Google has honed its mass-marketing skills, spending heavily on TV ads and other marketing to promote services other than its Web-search engine.


    The first tablet running Android software optimized for tablets, Motorola's Xoom, went on sale in February 2011, nearly 11 months after the first iPad arrived. Motorola has said it sold about one million Xoom tablets in 2011, below its expectations. Several other Android-powered tablets, including two versions of Dell Inc.'s DELL +0.51% Streak tablets, have been discontinued.


    Other manufacturers have noted the disappointing results. "Honestly, we're not doing very well in the tablet market," Hankil Yoon, a product strategy executive for Samsung, said at the Mobile World Congress conference earlier this year.


    Physical stores will still remain an important sales channel for Google.


    Some U.S. retailers are anxious for an Apple rival to emerge in the market, said people familiar with the matter. Some retailers that sell iPads have chafed under Apple's rules that require stores to promote its products more prominently, these people said, and the retailers generate less revenue per sale of Apple products versus other electronic devices.


    Google has taken other steps to be a consumer electronics brand. The company is directly overseeing the manufacturing of a Google-branded music and video streaming device, to be used in people's homes, which it is expected to sell to consumers later this year, people familiar with the matter have said. It is unclear whether Google will offer the device as part of its new online store."
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I wish Google would take this same marketing approach with Google TV - and come out with their own branded GTV box (to which they would subsidize the hardware). I have been advocating that Google use this strategy for GTV (on my recent posts on the forum).


    From the WSJ article: "To boost the prospects of its new online tablet store, Google was considering subsidizing the cost of future tablets in order to compete on pricing with Amazon's Kindle Fire, said one person with knowledge of the effort."


    So my suggestion all along has been that for GTV to compete with the $99 Apple TV & Roku - they (Google) subsidize the cost of their own GTV box (by subsidize I mean they approximately break even on the hardware).


    I wonder why Google feels this is a good idea for tablets (in competing with the Kindle Fire) - but apparently not for GTV?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Will Google Play Breathe New Life Into Android Tablets? | TabletCrunch.com (click for full article)

    "Google Play is the latest iteration in Google's attempt to compete against the likes of iTunes and Amazon Prime. The content offering on Google Play, although early in it's launch, is growing substantially. Google figures if it can strike the same content deals with the distributors that Apple and Amazon have, then it can produce a content offering that will hopefully draw customers.


    In fact, Google sees the opportunity to actually offer something better - ubiquitous access to content via the web. Meaning, if you have an internet connection on any device (iPad, Android tablet, iPhone, Android smartphone, etc...), then you have access to Google Play - and if you have access to Google Play, then you have access to your content. All of the above is what breathes new life into the Android tablet market.


    This is something that the Kindle Fire does not offer. In fact, it's one of the biggest complaints from Kindle Fire users - not being able to download videos from the cloud, only music. With Google Play, these issue do not exist - if you can access Google Play from any web connect device, you have access to your entire library."
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  5. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Android Tablets May be Soon Sold From Google Online Store (click for full article)

    From the article: "But it wouldn't be surprising to see Google launch Android 5.0 on a new, Google-branded tablet later this year. The 7-inch device may or may not have a quad-core Tegra 3 SoC, and the resulting price may be somewhere between $149 to $199. Google may even throw in premium components and take the financial hit just so that it can ignite the Android tablet sector much like Amazon did with the Kindle Fire late last year. Amazon supposedly loses around $3 per Kindle Fire unit, although it makes up the difference in app, music, movie and book sales."

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    Hmmm. If these Google tablets will have an HDMI port, a quad core processor, Android 5.0 (jellybean), and retail for only $149 - than this could be a better way to go instead of Google TV?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  6. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Why Amazon can't win a tablet price war against Google - Computerworld (click for full article)

    From the article: "The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Google plans to sell co-branded tablets made by several category-three companies in a new online store.

    But buying Motorola for patent protection, co-branding tablets, selling them in a store and even the existence of the Android mobile platform are all means to an end, which isn't big bucks from the hardware business, but revenue from Google Play digital content, online services and advertising.

    Google is the only player in category two that's in the position to profit from the bits without stressing about the low- or zero-margin hardware business. That's its greatest advantage. Google can grow the market with reckless abandon because every new customer brings additional revenue, but not additional costs or risks.


    Amazon and Barnes & Noble? Not so much."

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    So shouldn't the same line of reasoning apply to Google TV? And how can a GTV manufacturer compete on an even playing field against Apple TV & Roku? (Both of whom subsidize their hardware).
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google Pushes Back Tablet Release Date - Technology News - redOrbit (click for full article)

    "According to a report by the Verge, Google is pushing back releasing its first tablet until July at the earliest.


    The Verge cited sources close to the project as saying that Google plans to make some design changes, and hopes to lower the price from the current $249.


    The report said the device will be co-branded from both Google and Asus, and will be equipped with Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.


    The sources also claim that the tablet will feature a 7-inch screen, an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, and is Wi-Fi only.


    Asus showed off a tablet at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that could be an indication of what the new Google tablet will look like.


    If Google does plan on releasing the tablet at the first of July, it would coincide with being announced at its Google I/O conference on June 27 to 29.


    The conference is being held at Moscone Center in San Francisco California and could be a platform for the company to announce the new tablet.


    The show is the company's software-focused trade show dedicated to the latest in Android, Google TV and Chrome.


    The Verge said the tablet will be competing directly with Amazon's Kindle Fire, which is another 7-inch tablet that retails for $199.


    Amazon and Google are not the only companies planning a 7-inch tablet, according to rumors. Apple is in the process of making a 7.85-inch iPad.


    DaringFireball's John Gruber told Dan Benjamin during his Talk Show podcast that he has been told by "numerous" people that a 7.85-inch iPad is something Apple has been "noodling with."


    "Well, I don't know," Gruber said during the talk show. "What I do know is that they have one in the lab...a 7.85 inch iPad that runs at 1024×768... it's just like the 9.7" iPad shrunk down a little bit. Apps wouldn't need to be recompiled or redesigned to work optimally on it. It's just the iPad smaller."


    He did point out that Apple has several prototype products that never make it to the market, and quoted Steve Jobs when he said he was as proud of the products that Apple hasn't done as the ones they have."
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012

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