Here's an idea that just won't die. After Eric Schmidt's off-the-cuff comments about bringing "a tablet of the highest quality" to market sometime this year, the idea of a Nexus Tablet seems to orbit around Planet Android and come back every six weeks or so. This time it's from analyst Richard Shim predicts that Google will produce a first-party device running Ice Cream Sandwich in April. In this version of the tale, Google is going after the more successful low end of the Android tablet market with a 7-inch model priced at around $200, to compete with the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet.
But low price doesn't necessarily mean low end. The analyst predicts that the tablet will have a 1280x800 resolution, making it one of the nicer models in the price range. For comparison, the closest non-subsidized tablet with a 720p screen is the Asus MeMO 370t, which isn't even out yet. There's no word on other specs, but if Google was going to go big with the screen, you'd expect at least a dual-core processor and a gigabyte of RAM. If, indeed, we're talking about a real device.
Popular wisdom grants that Motorola would be the one to build a developer tablet, since they had the honor of manufacturing the first Honeycomb tablet... and also, Google's buying them. Even though Moto hasn't adjusted their rather depressing software policies, Google is beginning to pull strings, yanking out CEO Sanjay Jha in favor of a former Google executive. Even so, if production was to start in April, that would imply that Google's been working on this for some time, and Samsung or HTC are not out of the question. An initial run of 1.5-2 million units is predicted.
Let's be frank here: analysts have a nasty habit of making stuff up to get headlines (like the one we've just indulged Mr. Shim with). Aside from Schmidt's rather vague comments last year, there's no real evidence that a Nexus Tablet is inbound. Don't get us wrong, we'd love to see one, we just remain skeptical of its actual existence. We'd love to be proven wrong, and April production does line up nicely with a Google IO reveal in the summer...