As expected, Google has stepped into the tablet wars with its own-brand Nexus 7 slate, and – also as expected – it's seriously cheap too, with the 8GB model set to cost just £159.
But with reports emerging that the Nexus 7 took just four months to create, and is being sold at cost, has Google (and Asus) priced other Android tablet makers out of the market?
In an interview with AllThingsD, Asus boss Jonney Shih described the steep development curve for the Nexus 7 as being “like torture”, with Google having simultaneously demanded a high-end specification and a sub-$200 asking price, and giving Asus just four months to achieve it.
But Android head honcho Andy Rubin says he knew Asus was one of the few companies who could deliver the goods, and there's no question that the Nexus 7 has delivered on Google's brief. “We went from zero to working product in four months,” Rubin says.
He also revealed that the Nexus 7 itself is being sold at cost, with Google clearly having taken note of the impact Amazon has had with the Kindle Fire using a similar pricing model.
Rubin has made no secret of his frustration that Android tablet sales still haven't taken off in any significant sense, and the Nexus 7 seems to be a case of “if you want something done right, do it yourself”. Well, with Asus' help too, but you get the picture.
The bad news for other Android tablet makers is that if they were struggling before, the arrival of the Nexus 7 is only going to make matters worse.
Amazon and Google can afford to sell their hardware at cost (or even below cost) knowing that they'll get their money back and then some through app sales and advertising. However, other tablet makers have no such luxury and simply can't compete with the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 on price.
On top of that, the Nexus 7 will have Android 4.1 Jelly Bean all to itself for a full four months before other tablets get a look-in.
Rubin insists there is still “plenty of room left for Android tablet innovation” despite the Nexus 7's arrival. Just not on a level playing field, it seems.