The Nexus 7 is a great little tablet (review coming soon) and it’s a lot of device for the price. At $199USD/$209CDN for the entry-level tablet, Google has the smallest of margins on the tablet. Tear downs suggest that the company, who has hired Asus to do the manufacturing, spends about $184 on just the components — CPU, RAM, screen, etc. — and that doesn’t take into account packaging and distribution, not to mention the $25 Google Play credit every person is to receive.
The suggestion that Google is taking a loss on every Nexus 7 in order to cull the flow of buyers to Apple and Amazon is compelling: on the one hand, the Android tablet market, especially for those running “stock Android,” is fairly small. With a successful product launch, Google could provide the impetus needed to convince developers to build great apps and games designed specifically for larger screens, and it could bring the company back into the forefront of users’ minds where recently Amazon has taken all the credit for 7-inch slates.
Whatever the reason, Google knows what it’s doing. Although the device is slightly hampered by a lack of content in Canada, I’ve found it to be a great reading and gaming companion.