Google is not worried about cheaper tablets from Acer and Asus competing with its own Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 line. Even as the Apple iPad is still currently leading in the tablet market, Google’s Nexus 7 made waves when it was introduced in mid- 2012. Although Taiwanese device-makers Asustek and Acer plan to offer cheaper tablets within the year, Google will still be happy to see low-priced competition from other branded Android tablets, if this will help improve the platform’s market penetration.
Manufactured by Asus, the Nexus 7 provides a “pure Google experience” with a “vanilla” or stock Android installation and the assurance of timely updates. The device was officially launched in Asia starting September (in Japan, Singapore and South Korea), and has been going out of stock in online and offline retailers in its target markets. One reason has been the reasonable price, which started at US$199 for a full-featured Jelly Bean device.
Asus and Acer are going to offer tablets starting at the US$150 price point, reports DigiTimes, but both companies say Google does not have any qualms against their plans to undercut the search giant in its own device ecosystem. Acer plans to market 500,000 to 600,000 in the first quarter of 2013 starting at a US$99 price point, initially targeting China, Taiwan, India and South America. Meanwhile, Asus is targeting 5 million units.
Other vendors are planning to follow suit, with the entire platform targeting a 50% sales penetration within 2013. Sources, however, indicate that it will be white-box tablet makers that will likely bear the brunt of competition from cheaper tablets from the established brands.