Page: We are 'quite focused' on low-priced tablets

Will a Google "Nexus tablet" help or hurt the Android tablet market?

Samsung Galaxy Note
Tablets, even tweener ones like the Galaxy Note, could face pressure if Google gets into the business itself. Sarah Tew/CNET

When asked during today's Google earnings call about Google's future plans with tablets, CEO Larry Page furthered the rumor that Google is working on its own low-cost tablet. Or at least working with other vendors to bring them to market.

"We're very excited about tablets," he said. "Obviously there's been a lot of success on some lower-price tablets that run Android, maybe not the full Google version of Android. But we definitely believe that there's going to be a lot of success at the lower end of the market as well with lower price products... It's definitely an area we think is important and we're quite focused on. "

Google could be setting up to follow a similar playbook as it did with smartphones: In addition to supporting developers and manufacturers who release their own products, the company also has one smartphone product that it takes a special interest in and controls more carefully: the Nexus.

CNET Executive Editor Roger Cheng believes that Google's entrance into the low-cost tablet market would cast a pall over the segment for other manufacturers. However, these other manufactures (with the exception of Amazon, with its Android-based $199 Kindle Fire ), have not be wildly successful in the Android tablet market. A burr under their saddles, courtesy of Google, may help the market as much as it confounds manufacturers -- except for Asus, with whom Google is thought to be partnering for this product.

About the author

Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.

 

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