Following one of the most extensive periods of speculation, anticipation, rumors and downright elaborate guesswork, the Google Nexus 7 tablet is scheduled to begin arriving at the home of preorder customers this very day.
A recorded message offered on Google’s official helpline confirmed that shipping was to begin over the course of the weekend, which would in turn earmark today as the very first on which millions across the US will get their hands on the first pure-Google tablet – albeit one with Acer’s fingerprints all over it.
Rumors of a Google tablet hitting the shelves had been circulating ever since the iPad first came to fruition back in 2010, though chances are than none predicted exactly how significant the launch of the Nexus 7 would be.
Instead of offering an all-singing and dancing leviathan of a tablet designed to run circles around the iPad and other high-end tablets, Google took a page from the book of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and decided to tread a different path.
After the incredible success story that was the $199 Kindle Fire launched the affordable tablet market in Q4 last year, developers across the board seemed to wake up to this largely untapped market segment crying out for something they could lay their hands on for cheap.
A New Generation
Incredibly, Google has now managed to answer said cries with a tablet that not only carries the same $199 price-tag, but also packs a quad-core processor, stunning high-resolution display and the immediate exclusivity to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The Kindle Fire may well have kick-starter the market, but the Google Nexus 7 has made a declaration of war by showing the world how it can be done in the hands of the best.
It would therefore appear as though Google has gone and done in the afford bale tablet marketplace what Apple did with the iPad’s standard tablet marketplace in 2010 – i.e. entirely redesign it and take it over without a single realistic challenger.
However, just as was the case with the iPad’s vacant tablet market, the affordable tablet marketplace is not likely to remain unoccupied for long and rumor has it that there are already two massive challengers waiting to throw down the gauntlet.
Amazon Kindle Fire 2
To assume that the original Amazon Kindle Fire is not now essentially dead in the water would be both naïve and foolhardy. As unfortunate as it may be, this relatively young tablet recently lost practically each and every one of its core consumer draws as the Google Nexus 7 trumped every last one in no uncertain terms. The Kindle Fire is of course a decent unit and offers that wonderfully intrinsic connection with the Amazon Store, but bears absolutely no comparison to the Google Nexus 7.
However, word on the street is that the Kindle Fire’s bigger brothers have already been invited to the party and are set to debut before this very month is out. Rumors of an Amazon Kindle Fire 2 have been circulating pretty much ever since the first Kindle Fire saw the light of day, though the situation has become one of urgency. The problem is, the longer Amazon allows the Nexus 7 to steal the Kindle Fire’s thunder, the harder it is going to be to re-win over its existing customer base which reaches generously into the millions.
Should suggestions prove accurate, the Kindle Fire 2 will be a 7-inch tablet with the same $199 price tag, carrying a new quad-core processor and improved screen resolution. What’s more, the Kindle Fire 2 is also reportedly set to be joined by at least two larger siblings, which offer an overall user experience less like the original Kindle Fire and more like the iPad – all with similarly attractive price tags.
It would appear therefore that the Kindle Fire 2 and its sibling may stand every chance of stealing the spotlight away from the Nexus 7 and securing a huge chunk of the market, though at this present juncture time is very much a factor.
Moving onto challenger number two now and this is one entrant that really does have the privilege of time to play with. The notion of a smaller iPad coming to the market has again been around for years now – pretty much ever since the idea of the iPad first came to fruition.
The concept is of course as simple as it comes – that being an iPad with a smaller frame, smaller screen and smaller price-tag to boot. Unfortunately, the iPad Mini project seemed to have been halted in its tracks several times along the way, as Apple’s engineers and executives expressed ongoing concern as to possible iOS fragmentation.
However, concern in the face of such a problem when a market does not yet exist is one thing, but when it has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt that tens of millions of device sales are waiting to be made, big names like Apple have a remarkable ability to make things work one way or another.
As such, rumor once again has it that Apple has no intention of letting its biggest rivals wallow in incredible riches and acclaim in the mini-tablet marketplace, therefore an iPad Mini could indeed be on the cards…and very soon.
Rumor has it that the iPad Mini will serve up similar overall specs to the iPad 2, though perhaps with a lower screen resolution and reduced internal storage capacity to keep things affordable.
Experts seem to be in agreement that Apple has little to no chance of offering the same blistering specs as its rivals for such a low price, but the company has historically always relied on overall user-experience and left raw-grunt to its rivals – all of which have fallen short of Apple’s benchmark.