While the notion of a Google Nexus tablet was hardly a shock, the price point of just £159 ($199) was a surprise.
However, John Swatton, UK marketing manager for Asus, told TechRadar that the company had worked hard to achieve such a low price point:
'We've seen a lot of it innovation when it comes to our manufacturing processes, for example using one piece of glass for the display and efficiency improvements in a number of areas.
"I think the secret is simply we're very good at manufacturing and design, and we've managed to reduce our bill of materials."
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While the manufacturing processes were clearly optimised (the original Asus MeMO, seen at CES 2012 and the design on which the Nexus 7 was built was set to only cost $249) it's the volume of sales Asus and Google are expecting that's allowed that very low price:
"In the case of the Nexus 7, we can [bring it out at such a low cost] because we've committed to large volumes," Tim Smalley, Asus' Digital Marketing Manager, told us.
Big sales, big news
"We're talking very large volumes; in terms of comparisons to previous products in the UK we're going to have several orders of magnitude more at launch than ever before."
"In terms of the quantity, the Nexus 7 is so much bigger."
There are strong rumours that Google is heavily subsidising the cost of the device as well to get a foothold in the burgeoning tablet market – and even more so when you consider it's offering a £15 ($25) Play Store voucher to every new customer initially.
Will the strategy pay off? As TechRadar's editor Patrick Goss noted: "this is a tablet with an entry-level price but a host of high-end specs and Google-fuelled goodies," and that could be the weapon that the search king needs to become a rampant player in yet another market.