Not so long ago, buying a half-decent tablet wasn’t cheap. Amazon changed that with its $199 Kindle Fire, and rival tablet makers have been working to drive their own prices down ever since. Even Apple, which said smaller tablets were unusable, is expected to unveil a smaller, cheaper iPad mini later this month.
But Google could be about to drop the bar to an all-new low. According to “Taiwan-based supply chain makers,” speaking to DigiTimes, the search giant will unveil a $99 version of its Nexus 7 before the end of 2012. The device is expected to feature a single-core ARM-based processor developed by WonderMedia Technologies, and a HUVA TN display made by HannStar.
To keep costs low, Google is expected to sidestep Asus — the creator of its original Nexus 7 — and put manufacturing in the hands of Quanta Computer. Asus has declined that it is working with Google to launch a $99 tablet.
Of course, if those specifications are accurate, the $99 Nexus 7 won’t be anywhere near as capable as the original, which features a speedy quad-core processor. Despite this, it’s likely to be a big hit this Christmas. In fact, DigiTimes reports that inexpensive tablet vendors in China will be “under heavy competitive pressure” if Google goes ahead with the move.
Would you like to see a $99 Nexus 7?