Google has announced the launch of its first official tablet computer in the shape of what is being branded as the Nexus 7. The company’s involvement in the tablet sector to date has only gone as far as having its Android operating systems running on devices made by a variety of hardware firms around the world.
An 8GB version of the Nexus 7 will cost UK consumers between one and two hundred pounds, according to the latest information, with a release date pencilled in for the middle of July. The tablet element of the broader consumer technology market is of course currently dominated in large part by the latest iPad from Apple. Google first foray into the market is expected to see it battling more keenly thoguh with potential buyers of the Amazon Kindle Fire, rather than with the iPad, simply because of its pricing and the fact it measures only seven inches.
In terms of operating systems, Google has said the Nexus 7 will run on its very latest platform in the shape of the Jelly Bean Android platform. Google has steadily branched out from its origins as a search engine business but, while its Android system is used on all manner of smartphones and by many millions worldwide, it has yet fully establish itself as a provider of consistently in-demand hardware. The Nexus 7 is to be built by the Taiwanese computer manufacturer and retailer Asus.
As well as Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the Nexus 7 will need to compete for custom with Samsung, whose seven-inch Galaxy Tabs run on an Android OS.
In addition to unveiling its first tablet computer offering at a company event in the US this week, Google’s bosses also showed off what will be its first ‘augmented reality’ internet-connected glasses, which are being lined up for launch at some point in 2013.
Google’s developments follow fairly hot on the heels of a similar launch by Microsoft, which unveiled a range of Window-operating tablets billed as part of its new family of ‘Surface’ devices. It remains to be seen whether the efforts of either company will be enough to eat significantly into the lead Apple retains in the sector.