SAN FRANCISCO: Google will sell a small tablet computer bearing its brand in a challenge to Amazon's Kindle Fire.
The Nexus 7 is designed specifically for Google Play, the online store that sells movies, music, books, apps and other content — the things Amazon.com Inc. also sells for its tablet computer.
Google's announcement that it's putting its brand on a tablet comes a week after Microsoft Corp. said the same thing. Both moves risk alienating Google's and Microsoft's hardware partners. Those companies, in turn, could be less inclined to work closely with Google and Microsoft.
The Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire have screens that measure 7 inches (17.78 centimeters) diagonally, smaller than the nearly 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) on Apple Inc.'s popular iPad. The Nexus 7 will also be light — at about 0.75 pound (0.34 kilogram), compared with the Kindle Fire's 0.9 pound (0.41 kilogram). The iPad weighs 1.44 pounds (0.65 kilogram).
The Nexus 7 will ship in mid-July starting at US$199 — the same price as the Kindle Fire. By contrast, iPads start at US$499. Customers can start ordering it through Google on Wednesday, initially in the US, Canada and Australia.
Google's price is aggressively low, considering that the Nexus 7 has more features than the Kindle, including a front-facing camera. The Kindle is believed to be roughly break even at US$199. Samsung Electronics Co. sells a tablet similar to Google's for US$250. (AP/T05/TW)