There have been a few rumblings around the internet about the possibility of a Nexus 10 tablet. No word on whether that would be co-branded as a Google/Asus tablet or not. I wrote a post recently as to why it makes sense for Google to use Asus for a 10-inch Nexus tablet. This time I wonder about the impact of a 10-inch Nexus 10 tablet would have on Asus’ own product line.
There has been a few commentaries regarding Asus and the Nexus 7 and what they ultimately gain from being part of it. It’s pretty safe to say that it’s not a profitable venture but it’s a great brand building move. Digitimes recently suggested that the Nexus 7 may in fact cost Asus sales of their own 10-inch tablets. I’m not sure I agree with that because a 7-inch tablet is not a 10-inch Transformer tablet, that’s for sure. I don’t see how a Nexus 7 could replace or cause consumers to choose it over a full tablet/laptop experience with the Transformer Pad models.
It’s when I hear about a Nexus 10 when I really start to wonder. If Google does move forward on that plan, if Asus doesn’t build it, are they missing out on a dwindling 10-inch Android tablet market? In other words, should Google decide to make a break even Nexus 10 (10-inch tablet), what turmoil is that going to cause Asus and the other 10-inch Android tablet manufacturers? Will consumers pay more for a different brand 10-inch tablet when Google is offering a similar, albeit basic tablet for a lot less money?
My personal take is that Google would be really throwing a lot of 10-inch Android tablet manufacturers under the bus should they release a break even model. Asus still has an advantage in that the Transformer Pad models are far more unique and desirable. You could say the Transformer Pad market for Asus can remain somewhat safe. Still, I believe that people would opt for a Nexus 10 over a lot of other 10-inch Android tablets that are more expensive. To remain in the game perhaps co-branding with Google might in fact be the best move for Asus. Things change fast and who is to say that there will be a vast amount of 10-inch Android tablet manufacturers. If the Nexus 10 sets the price bar too low, there isn’t enough profit for people to make their own tablets. Asus could cement itself in the 10-inch market if they partner up with Google. It may simply be the best move going forward even if it does cost Asus sales of some of its own 10-inch Android offerings.
I bring this up because you might ask yourself whether Asus would be inclined to release another 7-inch Android tablet now that the Nexus 7 is here. Personally I wouldn’t think so. Given the same situation happening with a Nexus 10, I would think it’s better to be involved and gain more brand recognition than to be left on the sidelines trying to compete with the Nexus 10.
Just my opinion. What’s yours?