Although we knew almost everything there was to know about the Google Nexus 7 prior to its unveiling yesterday, it wasn’t until a couple of months before the event that reports and rumors surrounding the tablet’s specifications began trickling in. That’s because there weren’t any specifications until just four months ago.
Google gave Asus just four months — or around 122 days — to design and build “a high-end tablet that could sell for just $200.”
“Our engineers told me it is like torture,” Asustek Computer chairman Jonney Shih told All Things D during an interview shortly after the Nexus 7 was unveiled. “They ask a lot.” However, Shih insists that his team has “learned a ton” from working so closely with Google’s engineers.
So why did Google choose Asus to build its latest project? Well, according to the company’s Senior Vice President of Mobile, Andy Rubin, only Asus could deliver a product in four months.
“I don’t think there would have been any other partner that could move that fast.,” Rubin told AllThingsD. “We went from zero to working product in four months.”
Rubin confessed to All Things D that he was upset that Android tablets just weren’t selling a year ago, but he’s confident that they will receive a much-needed boost now that Google has the full ecosystem needed to deliver all kinds of media — including movies, TV shows, and magazines — to these devices.
“I think that was the missing piece,” Rubin said.
In an effort to make the Nexus 7 so competitive, and so attractive to consumers, Google has had to sell it at cost, which means the company won’t make a single penny on the units it sells. “When it gets sold through the Play store, there’s no margin,” Rubin revealed. “It just basically gets (sold) through.”
But despite the Nexus 7’s teeny tiny price tag, Rubin insists there is still “plenty of room left for Android tablet innovation.”
[via All Things D]