- Nexus 10 tablet from $A469
- Nexus 4 smartphone from $A349
- Available in Australia on November 13
- Nexus 10 tablet same size as Apple iPad
Google is cramming a few more gadgets on to already crowded holiday shopping lists.
The devices announced today include the latest in Google's line of Nexus smartphones and a larger version of the 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet, which the company began selling in July under the Nexus brand. It's also adding mobile data capabilities to the Nexus tablet and doubling the capacity of existing models.
The Nexus 4 smartphone is being made by LG and features a minor update to Google's Android operating system, which now powers more than 500 million devices worldwide. A more comprehensive upgrade, known as Key Lime Pie, is expected next year. The version of Android affected by these changes is known as Jelly Bean.
The Nexus 10 tablet is being made by Samsung and features a display screen that measures about 10 inches diagonally, about the same size as Apple's top-selling iPad.
With these additions to its product line-up, Google joins a procession of companies selling a gamut of sleek and powerful computing devices in different shapes and sizes. Some are smartphones and other are tablet computers, but they all aim to cater to people's growing interest to have easily portable devices that can be used to connect to the internet, take pictures, watch video and read books, magazines and newspapers.
Google's Nexus devices will be competing with gadgets from such companies as Apple, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Samsung and Microsoft. Microsoft released a new tablet called Surface last week and launched new software for phones today.
Google's introduction of a larger tablet comes less than a week after Apple announced it is making a smaller, less expensive iPad, with a 7.9-inch display, to compete with the Nexus 7 and Amazon.com's Kindle Fire. The iPad mini will be available in stores this Friday.
Some analysts have questioned whether consumers will balk at the iPad Mini's $369 price for a device with 16 gigabytes of storage. A Nexus 7 with 16 gigabytes of storage costs $249, while a new model with 32 gigabytes is being introduced for $299 in an apparent effort to discourage even more people from buying the iPad Mini.
The Nexus 10 tablet with 16 gigabytes of storage will sell for $469. That's $70 less than the comparable version of the latest iPad, which sells for $539, though the older iPad 2 is still available for $429. The Nexus 10 goes on sale in Google's online store on November 13.
The Nexus 4 phone boasts a 4.7-inch screen, larger than Apple's recently released iPhone 5 and just slightly smaller than Samsung's flagship phone, the Galaxy S III. An 8-gigabyte model of the Nexus 4 will sell for $349, while a 16-gigabyte model costs $399. Google is touting the Nexus 4's wireless charging capability as a major selling point.
Microsoft entered the tablet fray last week with the Surface. The initial model runs Windows RT, part of the Windows 8 family of operating systems. Microsoft has radically redesigned Windows to appeal to people who want the utility of a personal computer coupled with the convenience of smaller mobile devices that rely on touch controls. More than 1000 PCs and other devices are expected to run on Windows 8.
Microsoft launched its version of Windows 8 for smartphones in San Francisco at an event today that included an appearance by actress Jessica Alba. Google had hoped to upstage Microsoft's celebration by rolling out its latest gadgets at an event a few hours earlier in New York, but that got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. The company, which is based in Mountain View, California, instead released details about the devices in a blog post.
Besides adding more hardware to its online store, Google is expanding its music library to include Warner Music's catalogue. Warner had been the only holdout among the major music labels when Google began selling music a year ago to compete with Apple's iTunes store. The company also said it will begin selling music in Europe beginning November 13.
The Android update includes a feature called Gesture Typing, which is supposed to make it quicker and simpler to enter text and other information on touch-screen phones and tablets.