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NVIDIA sees $199 tablets in summer, says Android disappoints

updated 12:10 pm EDT, Thu March 29, 2012

NVIDIA CEO hints at Nexus tablet plans

NVIDIA's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang in an interview mid-week has predicted that Android tablets will hit $199 by the summer. Speaking to the New York Times, he predicted that the presumably Tegra-based hardware would shave about $150 in costs. Some of this would come from reducing flash storage, although he also implied that quality might take a drop through reductions in "build materials."

The cuts would nonetheless change attitudes towards tablets and bring them closer to impulse purchases. "At $199, you can just about buy a tablet at a 7-Eleven," Huang said.

The price may be a reference to a rumored Nexus-like tablet that would hit the $199 mark. As described, it would use as much as a quad-core Tegra 3 behind its seven-inch display. The seven-inch slate, possibly made by ASUS, would both be a reference for Android as well as an attempt to prevent Amazon from 'hijacking' Android through its custom build on the Kindle Fire.

Despite having hopes for such low prices, the executive was disappointed with Android's performance. He was instead turning his attention to Windows 8; as most people bought computers for work, a Windows 8 tablet would fulfill both the need for the tablet and for work. Google's platform was ancillary. "Android hasn't developed as I'd hoped," the CEO said.

To date, only the Kindle Fire has garnered significant share from the iPad, and then mostly due to its being sold at a loss with content being Amazon's source of profit. Regular Android tablet makers have all had about six percent or less, and most of them use NVIDIA's Tegra 2.

NVIDIA may be hedging its bets through Chrome OS, as a Sony VAIO Chromebook has surfaced in testing with an upgraded Tegra 2. Chromebooks have reportedly sold poorly, but NVIDIA may be guessing that ARM's longer battery life than Intel chips could present a more convincing case for a web-only PC than current Chromebooks, which have less battery life than tablets but none of the native apps of Windows. Many expect Sony's model to show at the sold-out Google I/O conference in late June.

by MacNN Staff



  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Implied quality drop in Android devices? The quality of the current $199 price range devices are already abysmal, how much worse can they possibly be made?

    Chromebooks sell poorly because of their 'web-only' nature. No sane thinking individual really wants that.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wow, such reactions

    Its like the CEO's of these companies have NO IDEA what to build and which way to go. They need a NEW GIMMIC to put on some hardware. ANYTHING will do... Please....

    It is so scary to watch. And I feel sorry for people that buy these ETC products. They get dumped when they do not become a hit. Support is gone, upgrades are gone. They become throw-away products.

    My iPhone has been upgraded several times getting new functionality each time.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So predictable

    Re: ..."quality might take a drop through reductions in "build materials."

    And the race to the bottom intensifies. Can't beat Apple's build quality. Can't beat Apple's integration with the deep and wide infrastructure. Can't beat Apple's value proposition. So what do they do? They cut corners. And it shows. Painfully.

    The problem with trying to make a pad cheaper than Apple is that Apple has the industry's best component economies of scale. They buy such huge quantities of touch screens, batteries, and flash memory that they force everyone else to out-bid each other for the rest of the world's supply.

    And that forces competitors' margins down. Which forces them to cut even more corners. Which leads to junky half-baked products. Welcome to the bottom of the cliff. You win the race to the bottom.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    why would I pay $199 for a crppy tablet of unknown utility to me, when for $100 more I can get a perfectly good 16gb iPad2 which I know has available to it the wide selection of apps in the App Store??? And I know it has Apple's quality hardware and components and the unbeatable user experience you only get with the California fruit company?

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