The Google tablet formerly known as Asus MeMo 370T may be pushed back to a July release date, as Google and Asus tweak the design to achieve a lower price.
When Asus showed off its 7-inch, quad-core MeMo 370T tablet in January, it promised a price of $250 and a second quarter launch. Since then, Asus has been silent about the MeMo amid rumors that the company has changed plans and is now working with Google on a cheaper Google-branded tablet.
Citing unnamed sources, The Verge reports that Asus and Google are indeed working together on a 7-inch tablet, but that they won’t hit the second quarter launch that Asus promised for the MeMo. They’re trying to get the price down, but The Verge doesn’t say by how much, or what sacrifices will have to be made.
Android and Me previously reported that Google was aiming for a $150 to $200 tablet with “Nexus” branding, and might drop the quad-core processor or reduce storage capacity to get there.
As The Verge points out, Apple is rumored to be testing a 7.85-inch iPad, with Daring Fireball’s John Gruber claiming that Apple has one in its labs. Apple tests lots of prototypes, and it’s unclear if this one will ever see daylight, but if Apple releases a smaller tablet, it would put Google, Apple and Amazon (with its Kindle Fire) on a collision course.
The battle for small tablet supremacy could go down later this year. As someone who’s still waiting for a great, 7-inch tablet, I’m excited by the possibility.