Google and Asus rumored to be working on $99 Nexus tablet

A report says the companies are working on two new Nexus tablets to be released by the end of the year for $199 and $99.

A year later, could a Nexus tablet cost a fraction of what the Galaxy Nexus initially sold for? Josh Miller/CNET

Could you be able to score a $99 Google Nexus tablet for Christmas this year? That's the latest from the Digitimes rumor mill, which, it should be noted, has a mixed record for getting it right.

Digitimes, apparently relying on anonymous sources in Asus' supply chain, says the companies are collaborating on two new Nexus tablets -- a thinner version of the Nexus 7 that could retail for $199 and another for $99. The report says both new tabs would hit the market by the end of the year in an effort to defend against the anticipated iPad Mini.

I'm highly skeptical that this rumor will come true, at least in the time frame that Digitimes seems to think it will, but if it did it would break the tablet market wide open. At $99, a quality Android tablet like the Nexus 7 could become an impulse buy for millions of customers and pose a serious threat to Apple's slate dominance in a short period of time.

The problem is that Google would likely have to be losing a pretty penny on the cost of each tablet to sell them at such a price, or the specs would have to be scaled down to a point where they could risk sullying the good name of Android Jelly Bean, or whatever the next version of the mobile OS is called -- Android Krispy Kreme, perhaps?

No matter the name, such a cheap Nexus tablet would certainly be a sweet surprise for the holidays, I'm just not holding my breath.

About the author

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Crowdsourcing.org and has written e-books on both Alaska and Android. E-mail Eric.

 

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