It would seem that the smartphone blogs and tech sites are now talking about the Asus Google tie-up but there is a twist on the story. The initial thoughts on a $199 Nexus slate has been ditched in favour of a $149 product, the reasoning is simple, goodbye Tegra 3……poor nVidia, If this news is true then the line-up has changed again:
1) Apple: We have the ‘new iPad’ (its a 3 damnit!) which people can’t tell the difference from the old one, priced out of the stratosphere as you would expect from Apple.
2) Amazon: $199 buys you and Kindle Fire Android tablet without the Google bit. Over 4.7 million sold and surely putting a wee dent in iPad sales judging from the fact there is plenty of stock about for the new iPad.
3) Google: A $149 Nexus tablet might be what the people are looking for, sure the Fire is nice but people want their Google bits, I know I do!
4) The rest: That’s all them OEMs that have struggled from Day 1 to get some sales, Samsung leads the pack but there are plenty of other players wanting a piece of the action including Toshiba, Lenovo and many small players on the budget end.
So what does this mean for the market as a whole, well tablets are selling well as PC sales stagnate. Expect to see more tablets appearing in peoples hands over this year as the price points come down. The iPad will always be a player but at the moment they are conceding the budget end of the market to the other players. Google just needs to get its foot in the door and a $149 is a sure fire way of making it happen. Apple’s share of the market is dwindling away to an array of devices but we will wait and see if a small form-factor device such as the rumoured 7″ iPad arrives to fend them off.