Rumours are emanating from Taiwan that Google and ASUS are planning to launch two new NEXUS tablets when it comes to product refresh time. A source quoted by DigiTimes suggested the range would be split in two with an entry level tablet at the magic $99 price point. However ASUS has quickly denied the rumours.
Companies and products can’t stand still and succeed, especially in tech, so it would be surprising if ASUS and Google weren’t planning a blockbuster follow-up to the well received NEXUS 7 Android tablet. ASUS expects that by the end of the year NEXUS 7 shipments will be between five and six million units. Rumours are that to push further sales of Google NEXUS branded tablets the company partners had decided to co-operate in a pincer movement and make two new tablets next year; “a US$199 ultra-thin upgraded model to counter Amazon and Apple's new tablet devices” and also a “US$99 entry-level model”.
ASUS has “refuted the rumours” of the two new NEXUS tablets according to the DigiTimes daily online tech news site. However DigiTimes didn’t publish ASUS’s statement so it is unclear whether ASUS denies some part or all of the rumour details.
How ASUS and Google can make a usable $99 tablet is quite clear as there Chinese no-name tablets available on the market at and around that price point. For instance, you can get a serviceable 7-inch Ainol for as little as £46. A $99 (about £62) ASUS/Google branded tablet would definitely take the wind out of the sales of competitors like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple. Looking at these competitors; the Kindle Fire HD is a competitive £160 in the UK, and Apple is believed to be working on the iPad mini, which could be marketed for as little as $249, for launch in the holiday season.
Of course ASUS may be denying the rumours simply because there are no such NEXUS devices in planning. Or do you believe there is no smoke without fire?