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Rumor: Google, Asus prepping 7-inch tablet for June release

Rumor: Google, Asus prepping 7-inch tablet for June release

New Rumors have surfaced that Google and Asus are getting ready to jointly release a 7-inch tablet this summer.

Digitimes, citing sources from the "upstream supply chain," claimed on Thursday that shipments of the device will begin in June in preparation for a July launch. Google had originally planned to release its "entry-level" 7-inch tablet in May, but design and costs issues caused the project to be delayed until July for "minor adjustments," according to the news outlet.

Initial shipments of the tablet are expected to reach around 600,000 units, with shipments for the year totaling between 2-2.5 million units, Digitimes reported. The Taiwanese site back in January first reported that Google is prepping a 7-inch tablet that will compete not with the market-dominating iPad, but rather the number-two Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PCMag on Friday. However, executive director Eric Schmidt late last year reportedly said his company would release "a tablet of the highest quality" within six months.

A separate report today from TechnoBuffalo corroborates Digitimes' information about the timing of the launch. Citing a "trusted source," the site reported that Google will unveil the Asus-built Nexus tablet during its Google I/O conference, which begins on June 27 in San Francisco.

Google is reportedly planning to give a unit to each of the developers attending the conference. There are conflicting reports, however, as to whether the developer device will come pre-loaded with the next version of Android, dubbed Jelly Bean, according to the publication.

The rumored Google Nexus tablet will apparently include Nvidia's quad-core Tegra-3 processor, and could be priced at around $200, according to TechnoBuffalo.

As for the likelihood of this coming to pass, Time columnist Harry McCracken recently fact-checked 25 of Digitimes' tech stories. "By my count, 16 of these 25 stories turned out to be mostly or completely off-base. Five are largely or entirely correct. And four involve predictions that might yet come true," McCracken said.

Meanwhile, the 7-inch tablet market appears to be heating up. Apple is rumored to be readying a 7-inch version of the iPad for release in October for around $200 to $250.

Copyright © 2010 Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc.

 

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