Published in AI
Nexus 7 is crippled Asus 370T, but not much cheaper
The same spec and price, minus 8MP camera
Google likes to tell fairy tales, so now it is telling the world+dog how hard it was to pull off the Nexus 7 but in reality this was just redesigned and crippled Asus 370T tablet with a few minor tweaks. It was not developed from scratch and Google’s claims that it was developed and shipped in just four months don’t make too much sense.
Let’s go back to CES 2012 in January, more specifically a January Nvidia press event at which Asus has a cut-price Tegra 3 powered tablet for $249. It was dubbed the MeMo 370T and it was supposed to ship in Q2 2012, er, now.
As we all know the, 370T never made it to market, as it was dropped in favor of a more lucrative Google partnership, which resulted in the Nexus 7. The Asus 370T was supposed to have the same quad-core Tegra 3, 1 GB of RAM, 7-inch display in 1280x800, 16GB memory and all that at a price tag of just $249.
This is pretty much the exact spec of the Nexus 7 with the only difference that Asus 370T was supposed to ship with an 8-megapixel camera with auto focus and a few other bits. Press photos also seemed to show stereo speakers rather than just one on the Nexus and we can only guess whether the 370T had a microSD slot.
If Asus ever ships the 370T tablet it will cost the same and will have a camera, and end up more competitive than Google’s Nexus 7. We are quite sure that this won’t happen, at least in any serious quantity but Asustek’s Transformer series will again be among the first to get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
So the official story that Google made Nexus 7 in four months should really read that Google had four months to modify an existing product, a pretty good product. And by modify we mean drop the camera and a few other bits and sell it at the exact same price point. However, it is possible that the 8GB version is selling close to actual BOM cost, but judging by the 370T price, Google still has room for a healthy margin on the 16GB model.
Also, when Nvidia announced its Kai platform based on the same Tegra 3 chipset for $199, this figure included a profit margin, so stories that Google makes no money seem greatly exaggerated, some micro margins are there. Google is probably trying to portray itself as a consumer-oriented company and have us believe that it is operating on very tight margins, unlike the big bad wolf from Cupertino. Unfortunately we don’t believe this is the case.