Google has a strong foothold for beginning ... transformation, with nearly 400 million smartphones and tablets running its Android software around the globe, outselling Apple phones by nearly 3 to 1 in the first quarter of 2012.
The good news is that Google’s Android tablet — the Nexus 7 — is a small, inexpensive device for users looking for an alternative to Amazon’s Kindle Fire and unwilling to pay a premium for Apple’s iPad, analysts say.
The Nexus 7 is an amazing package for something that costs a penny less than $200. It feels like something that could sell for much more. It has a great screen, solid performance and a clean, clear, uncluttered version of Google's latest operating system, Jelly Bean.
Google’s tablet is also the thinnest and lightest among the four, although it packs a 4325 mAh battery, enough juice for 8 hours, Google says, and a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, the fastest in this field. As for RAM, the Nexus 7 comes with 1GB, on par with the Tab 2 and the 16GB version of the Nook Tablet ($250), and double what’s on the Kindle Fire.
These devices, made in partnership with big hardware manufacturers (Korea's Samsung for the latest phone and Taiwan's Asus for the Nexus tablet), are designed to give users the absolute latest operating systems on excellent hardware – and Google, not a carrier, keeps them updated.
Google started selling its first hardware in January 2010. ... Google announced the Nexus One, a "pure" Android device meant to serve as a testbed for developers and as a token smartphone to Android enthusiasts.
Google’s focus on hardware is a strategic shift for the company, which makes the vast majority of its revenue from advertising. Google is likely to sell the Nexus 7 and Nexus Q at cost, or even at a loss, but hopes to make up for those losses — and then some — with additional revenue from purchases made on Google Play, its app and content store; additional traffic to its YouTube video site; and the advertising it reaps from all of its Internet products.
The Google Glass project puts computer-processing power, a camera, microphone, wireless communications and a tiny screen into a pair of super-cool-looking, lightweight glasses. For now, the "smart" glasses can display images and video and have a button that can be used for taking pictures. Ultimately, the company hopes the glasses will be able to access information in real time, including the ability to identify locations and provide additional information about your whereabouts.
The Nexus Q is a $299 ball you connect to your home theater or speaker system and use to access YouTube videos, as well as music, movies, and TV on Google Play. It lets you wirelessly stream media from your Android smartphone or tablet to the device like Apple's AirPlay feature.
With the Nexus Q and Google Glasses especially, Google is developing its own distinctively future-forward look for hardware.