A new report has surfaced, claiming Google is in the process of working with LG to release a Nexus tablet over the summer. For now, details are slim, and neither Google nor LG has commented on the possibility of such a launch. But that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from guessing what the device will offer, when it will actually be released and much more.
Rather than do that, however, perhaps it’s a better time to consider whether or not Google should really launch its own Nexus tablet. To some, Google’s decision to release an Android-based tablet might make little sense. As a software provider, its goal should be to attract hardware vendors so its operating system will run on those devices, not to compete with them. But those comments are short-sighted. As Google has shown in the smartphone market, offering its own Nexus device hasn’t hurt its relationship with vendors one bit.
It’s undoubtedly a smart idea on Google’s part to launch its own Nexus tablet. Such a device could do wonders for its Android operationand the tablet market as a whole. The sooner its tablet comes out, the better.
1. A proof-of-concept
A Google Nexus tablet could be the proof-of-concept that the company needs to get Android off the ground in the tablet market. Though many are launching soon, right now there are few Android tablets on store shelves. For the most part, customers don’t know what to expect. Google has the opportunity to use its own Nexus tablet to show both customers and other vendors what a true Android tablet can offer.
2. Google’s brand can help Android devices
Right now, the top companies in the Android tablet space, including Motorola and Samsung, arehaving trouble selling their devices. Consumers and enterprise customers are turning to the iPad 2 to whet their tablet appetites. But Google can change that. It has the brand recognition that not even those companies can match. For the most part, consumers trust Google. If customers like what they find with Google’s Nexus tablet and Android vendors do their best to follow the search giant’s lead, Android-based devices should see stronger sales after the release of Google’s option.
3. It worked in the smartphone market
This wouldn’t be the first time that Google would deliver its own hardware in partnership with another company. It has done the same in the smartphone space. And as history has shown, Google-branded products have done nothing to hurt Android sales or the company’s relationship with other vendors. In fact, it helped turn customers’ attention toward Android. Now, the platform is selling extremely well. If that plan has worked in the smartphone space, why wouldn’t it work in tablets?
4. LG seems like a winner
If Google is in fact partnering with LG for its Nexus tablet, it’s a smart move. LG has developed some worthwhile Android-based smartphones, and the company’s tablet, the T-Mobile G-Slate by LG, looks to be a fine platform for those who don’t want the iPad 2. LG has a long history of making solid products, and by partnering with the company, Google could dramatically improve the chances of its tablet succeeding.
Showing the Flag for Android
5. It can be more iPad-like
One of the key issues with Android tablets right now is that Google has no control over the devices on store shelves. After providing the software, companies like Motorola and Samsung design the hardware. By developing its own Nexus tablet with LG, Google can control all aspects of the buying proposition. It would be following Apple’s lead. As that company’s success has proved, control in the tablet market works quite well.
6. It shines light on Android too
Google can do a lot to help its vendor partners by offering a tablet. But the company can also help its own cause through Android 3.0 “Honeycomb,” the likely choice for a Nexus tablet. If Google can create the right value proposition for customers and improve the software in the coming months, it will be able to show the value customers could derive from Android 3.0 “Honeycomb.” That would not undoubtedly help improve its position in the tablet space.
7. It would have the best chance of stealing market share
As the Motorola Xoom-arguably a more-capable tablet on paper than the iPad 2-has shown, trying to take Apple down in that market is practically impossible. The iPad 2 seems to be unbeatable for now. But Google’s tablet would probably have the best chance of stealing Apple’s market share in the tablet market. The device would get the most attention and, if Google played its cards properly, it would deliver better features. In the process, it would likely attract more customers. If it’s market share Google’s after, developing its own tablet is integral to controlling more of that space.
8. It puts pressure on Apple
Following that, it’s important to note thatApple is not worried at all about the competition. It knows all too well that its competitors can’t beat its iPad 2 and the chances of it losing a dominant share in the tablet space are slim. But by offering its own tablet, Google could put pressure on Apple. Its device would be the first of its kind in the Android space to gain mainstream consumer attention. Plus, it could sell well enough to steal market share from Apple. Cupertino is facing no pressure and can do whatever it wants in today’s tablet space. A Google tablet will change that in a big way.
9. It’s willing to take risks
There are some companies in the marketplace that are risk-averse. They view branching out of their core business model as too dangerous to even try it. But Google is different. The company has a proven track record of taking risks and seeing those risks pay off. Developing a tablet is undoubtedly a risk. Other Android vendors could see Google more as a competitor than a partner. But as the previous items have shown, the payoff could be huge for Google. If it has been willing to take a risk in the past, it shouldn’t change its ways now.
10. It has all the information it needs
In order for a Google tablet to be successful,it must have the quality of components that would make customers think twice about the iPad 2. Luckily for Google, Apple has already launched the iPad 2, which means it knows that device inside and out. Then it can find ways to trump Apple’s tablet when it comes to the display, the internal components and other key features that customers care about. If this were late last year, Google probably shouldn’t launch a tablet, since it would be overshadowed by the iPad 2. By releasing such a device over the summer, as reports suggest, Google can deliver all the features that would make its tablet better than Apple’s. Simply put, the timing is perfect for a Google Nexus tablet.