Google’s quarterly earnings report was a fairly bland affair this time around. Aside from a lot of financial data and a good bit of advertising back and forth, there wasn’t a lot of new information to be had. But there was one nugget of dialogue that should interest any Android newshound: when asked about the Google’s focus on Android tablet,s CEO Larry Page made specific mention of the lower end of the market – where the majority of Android tablets are being sold.
“…there’s been a lot of success on some lower-priced tablets that run Android. Maybe not the full Google version of Android.” said Page, referring to tablets that use Android’s open source nature for vendor-specific modifications, like the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet. “But we believe that there’s going to be a lot of success on the lower end of the market… It’s definitely an area we think is important, and that we’re quite focused on.” Naturally Page didn’t mention any specific plans… no matter what they might be.
Rumors of a Nexus-style Google tablet have been circulating for months, ever since Eric Schmidt indicated that someone (Google or otherwise) was working on a “tablet of the highest quality” for 2012. Since then the popular rumor is that ASUS is working on a 7-inch Ice Cream Sandwich tablet, similar to and possibly replacing the ASUS MeMO 370T, that would come in at a prise of $200 or less. There’s nothing in the earnings call that confirms or denies that. If a first-party tablet is a reality and due sometime in the next few months, the developer conference Google I/O would be the place that it shows up.