Mounting rumours suggest that Asus is to produce an Android tablet to branded as a Google Nexus device.
Android enthusiast site Androidandme.com first claimed that Asus was making the "Nexus Tablet" earlier in the month, citing supply chain sources. If Taiwan-based Asus was making such a device, one would expect the notoriously leaky local supply chain to break the news in the DigiTimes. Sure enough that’s exactly what happened.
The Asus-made Nexus Tablet could be the "tablet of the highest quality" which he revealed to an Italian newspaper that the company was working on back in December.
A follow up rumour from Androidandme suggests that the new Asus tablet is a "done deal" with the direct result that the well received Asus MeMo 370T that appeared at CES has been "scrapped" in favour of the Nexus-branded device.
Asus raised eyebrows with the MeMo 370T raised eyebrows for claiming that the device would be fitted with a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 chip and would cost just US$250. The most recent rumours suggest that an even lower price point is on the cards for the Nexus-branded replacement, possibly as low as US$149.
Androidandme reckons the Nexus tablet will be unveiled at the CTIA Wireless show in early May and speculated that the device is conceived to go head to head with the inexpensive Amazon Kindle Fire.
That strategy indeed makes sense since one of the reasons Google releases Nexus branded devices is to reaffirm he stock Android experience. With the Kindle Fire, Amazon has effectively forked Android into a custom build locked down to Amazon’s own content stores.
It’s possible the reduced price is also the result of forecasts based on the considerably larger volumes of sale that are likely given official Google branding on an Android tablet.
Another possibility is that Google reserves the Nexus tablet as the launch device for Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, itself expected to be announced in June at Google’s own event, Google IO. We reckon that’s more likely.