Here’s a nice side choice to compliment your main course of Nexus Tablet rumors this evening: NVIDIA CEO spoke with the New York Times about lowering the price of Android tablets. Quote mister Jen-Hsun Huang: ““We took out $150 in build materials, things like expensive memory. At $199, you can just about buy a tablet at a 7-Eleven.” That’s a long way from any sort of confirmation, but it shows that NVIDIA is as anxious as we are to lower the price of Android tablets, especially those with high-end components like the Tegra 3 processor.
Most of the mainstream manufacturers out there seem intent on fighting Apple on its home turf, i.e. the $500+ market. To be blunt, that hasn’t worked in the year or so that Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich have been available… and it’s given Apple time to hit back with the reduced $399 iPad 2. ASUS seems to be the only company having any luck with high-end tablets, and even then they don’t hold a candle to the $200-250 “reader” tablets in terms of sales volume. A combination of power and rock-bottom price could finally break Android tablet sales out of the doldrums to join Android’s lead in smartphones.
We had previously hoped that the ASUS MeMO 370T would be the tablet to do just that, but the current scuttlebutt is that it’s been scrapped in favor of an even cheaper Nexus Tablet. None of this is confirmed by anybody at the moment, so consider it firmly in the rumor category. As for NVIDIA, who knows: they’re a component supplier, not a manufacturer. If OEMs won’t find ways to lower the prices of tablets, there’s not a lot that anybody else can do about it.