In an interview with AllThingsD, Asus Chairman Jonney Shih revealed that it only took ASUS and Google four months to design and built the Google Nexus 7 tablet. That’s not to say that it was easy. “Our engineers told me it is like torture,” Shih said during the interview. “They [Google] ask a lot.” For his part, Andy Rubin, SVP of Mobile at Google, had high praise for ASUS. “I don’t think there would have been any other partner that could move that fast. We went from zero to working product in four months,” he said.
ASUS assembled a dedicated team for the project called “Project A-Team.” Engineers were sent to various locations, including Silicon Valley to be closer to Google. The move also allowed ASUS to have a 24-hour development cycle.
Rubin also shed some light on the reasons Google decided to build the Nexus 7. Admitting being upset a year ago over Android tablet sales (or lack thereof), Google found that it lacked a content ecosystem that customers could buy into. Rubin pointed to the lack of TV shows, movies for purchase, and magazines as some gaps. “I think that was the missing piece,” Rubin said. Google hopes to have corrected that with yesterday’s announcements.
Andy Rubin, SVP of Mobile at Google, revealed that Google is selling the Nexus 7 at cost. “When it gets sold through the Play store,” says Rubin, “there’s no margin, it just basically gets (sold) through.” Google is also absorbing the marketing costs associated with the device, suggesting that it is selling at a loss when all the costs are factored in.
Is the Google Nexus 7 the jolt that the Android tablet ecosystem needed? We’ll know better once it starts to ship in mid-July.
Read more: AllThingsD