The advantage that Chinese wholesalers offer is that the big corporate expenses, the huge advertising budgets and the need to make 33% profit on each phone doesn’t exist. The result is access to Android smartphones much nearer to their production costs.
Google’s Nexus 7 brings together the best of two worlds, being both affordable and very competitive performance-wise. How many of you agree with that? Very many, right? But what if we were to present to you a 7-incher going for just 50 bucks more while considerably upping the spec ante?
There are plenty of Android tablet makers out there and the big names like Samsung, Asus, Google and Amazon often get all the attention, however there are some good but lesser known tablet makers. One of these is SmartQ which has just released a 7 inch tablet with a built-in DLP projector. I got hold of one and I wasn’t disappointed.
If Google really is trying to create a budget tablet it will likely start a new “race to the bottom”. Although traditionally used as a socio-economic term to describe the taxation policies of countries or states, the concept can be equally applied to building cheaper and cheaper consumer devices to boost sales. The problem with the race to the bottom is something needs to be sacrificed to reach the low costs. In economics, work force regulations, wages and taxes are offered on the altar to attract businesses to a given area. In consumer electronics what is sacrificed is quality, features and usability.
Assuming Google launch a $99 tablet, it is likely that other big names will try something similar. The problem is that once these devices get into the hands of consumers they will find that their expectations haven’t been met and this will irreparably damage the Android and Nexus brands.
Chinese tablet maker SmartQ is set to officially announce a series of new tablets with specifications and pricing aimed at challenging the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7. These are the SmartQ X7, which will feature the same OMAP 4470 as the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, but this time in a 7 inch form factor.
SmartQ has released Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean firmware updates for all of its current tablets. The company has a full range of tablets starting with the smaller seven inch S7 and K7 models and finishing with the 10.1 inch T30. In between, there is an eight inch model and a couple of 9.7 inch models.