Rumor has it that Google will once again brand its own hardware by teaming up with LG to produce an Android-based Nexus tablet. Nexus, of course, is the branding that Google uses when it collaborates with independent hardware manufacturers.
The rumor has been perpetuated from a report that has been “circulating”, a report that seems to have originated from the Russian tech blog Mobile Review. As such, there are no details that can be confirmed about the device yet, though Mobile Review has speculated that it would see a release anywhere from mid-summer to early autumn. Additionally, Boy Genius Report pointed out that the LG-produced device may never even see a commercial release, and could instead just be a prototype used internally by Google for development purposes.
With any luck, Google will fare better with this hardware outing than it has in the past. Previously, Google released the HTC-manufactured Nexus One smartphone — which was generally considered a flop — and the Nexus S from Samsung in 2010, which was quickly forgotten in the wake of more powerful devices released later in the year and in 2011.
But a tablet might be a better choice for Google-branded hardware; many of the issues with the Nexus One, for instance, stemmed from the fact that only T-Mobile chose to subsidize and back the device. T-Mobile is in last place in the country, in terms of adoption rates of wireless carriers. With tablets, success doesn’t depend nearly as much on the carrier, if one is even involved at all. Many tablets, such as the Motorola Xoom and Apple iPad have Wi-Fi only models that are sold at a lower price point, providng a more affordable option for consumers.
Inherent advantages aside, the tablet industry is still a field full of stiff competition, and creating its own hardware (and getting it to sell) will be no small task for Google. Apple still has a lock on the app front, with over 400,000 available (about double that of the Android Market), and new tablets are popping up left and right, including an Android tablet that LG is already working on in collaboration with T-Mobile.