With all the hype surrounding tomorrow's big announcement from Apple, mention of a potential Nexus-branded tablet circulating the web have garnered little attention.
As someone who is a huge fan of the Nexus lineup and a happy Galaxy Nexus owner, I am very excited to see what Google and Asus, or whomever they end up partnering with, produces (as with smartphones, it will likely change from year to year). Having the weight of Google behind a tablet OEM would be an additional tailwind for an already rapidly growing OS. (see our report: Global Tablet OS Market Share: Q4 2011 and stay tuned for our upcoming Tablet Regional Forecast by OS.)
All devices in the Nexus lineup have incorporated top of the line components, build quality, and beautiful form factors. This is why I have to deviate from some of the hypotheses that it will be a low-cost, 7" device aimed at competing with Amazon's Kindle Fire. First of all, Google does not need to significantly subsidize device hardware when the Android OS is growing so rapidly. Second, the Nexus lineup has to date been a best of breed device. I see the Nexus lineup more as an Android flagship device meant to go head-to-head with the iPhone while simultaneously building the Android brand and encouraging OEM support. What Google needs is a premium device that can tap into the companion segment as well as the catch-up TV segment to boost its share of Android users and be a clarion call for other Android tablets to pursue higher specs rather than cheaper prices as a way of gaining volume.
I hope (and believe) they will go for an all-out, top of the line device that challenges what will come out of Cupertino tomorrow.