Share this Story

Google’s Andy Rubin and ASUS’ Jonney Shih Talk About Making the Nexus


Andy Rubin and Jonney Shih, two company heads from Google and ASUS, which came together to make the new Nexus 7 tablet, sat down for an interview with AllThingsD to talk about the process of creating such a unique product. According to Shih, things weren’t all roses and jelly beans. “Our engineers told me it is like torture,” Shih said, “[Google] ask[s] a lot,” in reference to the demanding timelines that were placed on building the N7. Rubin talked about the project going from zero to working product in about four months, saying that he didn’t think any other partner could have done it as fast as ASUS.

Rubin also went on to say that there was a missing piece to Android tablets until this date, the purchasing of movies and magazines. The Nexus 7 is centered around the Play Store and Google is definitely moving forward with that.

The last bit that came from the interview made shock some, and that’s the idea that there is no profit margin on sales of the tablet itself. Clearly, Google plans to make all of its money through Google Play store sales of TV shows, Movies, Magazines, Music and apps. Amazon has gone a similar route with the Kindle Fire.

The whole interview is an interesting read on the development of the first device with Jelly Bean. Are you going to be getting one?

Via: AllThingsD

  • Willeminx

    Finally…I was ready to buy the Nexus S when it never came out to Verizon. Then I didn’t want the G-Nex because of the camera issues. I will deal with the phones, as they come, because this will fill the gap. Pre-ordered 16 gb and am happy! Love my Kindle Fire, have not rooted, but will be very glad to experience all my apps and goodies on the Nexus7. Once you buy into either Android or Apple, I feel it is hard to switch over from your ecosystem, so to speak, because you’ve invested time, money, and energy into building up your app or music library within. I just don’t have the energy (or money) to move into the apple world, nor do I feel it is necessary. So this really fits the bill for moi…

  • question: How does this really compair to the Asus Transformer TF101 (my current TAB) or even the newer TF301?

    • Tyler Chappell

      It’s definitely better than your original Transformer, which may or may not ever see Jelly Bean, no reason it shouldnt though because since it can run ICS, JB shouldn’t be a problem. Compared to the TF301 though, basically the same performance, same resolution screen, but right off the bat I don’t remember if the Tegra 3’s are both clocked the same or if there is a small 100MHz difference, but I think its the same. So performance-wise, they’re basically equal, but at 7″ you get a slightly sharper looking screen with the N7, it’s more lightweight and probably more comfortable to hold, and OS updates will be very timely. Overall, the Nexus 7 offers more value in a more portable package than the TF301, only downside being no expandable storage unlike the TF301, but I’d say the price isn’t justified unless you absolutely know you need it.

      Keep in mind however, that there is a strong chance you’ll actually be able to add external storage via a micro USB OTG host adapter cable that can be bought off Amazon for $4. Plug in a USB drive or memory card reader and you’re good to go, may look ugly, but should work. I wont know for sure until I have one in my hands.

  • “no profit margin on sales of the tablet itself. ”

    how can you not support this?

    pre-ordered yesterday

  • ty

    I mean the idea of a small and simple tablet for $199 is awesome, but if they offered a 9″ version for like…$299? I’d buy that one all day.

  • Droid4LifeDawg

    Placed my Order for 16g w/case overnight…

  • Paradisimo

    I bought one and am actually going to sell my Transformer Prime. The Prime is nice but I have only picked it up a couple of times in the last month and a half. 10″ makes it pretty cumbersome to use and carry around and with Google’s improved keyboard I feel like I can type just as quickly as on the cramped Asus keyboard.

  • AlexKCMO

    Good chance I’ll be getting one for my wife. I’d get one for myself, but I don’t think 7″ is big enough for watching Netflix while traveling.

  • Christopher Riner

    I really think Google is finally gonna take a stand in the tablet game. I’ve been waiting for this ever since I heard of it. I can’t wait.

  • thefullritz

    Already pre-ordered, perfect for travel and at $200 it is an impulse buy.

  • MentatYP

    How about a no-profit 10″ 1920×1200 Nexus tablet for $300 then, hmm? If you’re in the no-profit-from-hardware game anyway, why not give us a 10″ one while you’re at it? 7″ tablet is too dinky for me.

    • Tyler Chappell

      People don’t realize how much more portability a 7″ tablet offers than a 10.1″. And by portability I mean SOME pockets may be wide enough to fit one in though probably wouldnt recommend it, it can definitely fit in a woman’s purse much more easily than a 10.1″, but more importantly is the weight. Holding 10.1″ tablets is quite uncomfortable for extended periods, and by extended I’m talking as little 20+ minutes holding it in your hand without resting it on your lap etc or having to use 2 hands. Even then it can be tiresome. There’s a market for those who think bigger is better even though it offers virtually no benefits, esp if the resolution is the same, and then there’s the market for people that play around with both, and realize that the 7″ is more versatile in several ways.

  • No_Smoking

    While I love this tablet, I think I might want to wait a month. I got burned the last time I bought something right out of the gate. $200 is hard to argue with though!

  • SD_Scott

    I was holding out to get this but eventually caved in and bought a TF300. I just can’t see myself using a 7″ tablet. Need the full 10.1″…

  • Droosh

    I’m not shocked that Google is making nothing on the hardware. I would be surprised if there is no profit or kickback of somekind for ASUS however. Why else would they do it?

    • 4n1m4L

      Google fully financed development.

    • IMNS

      Asus has to make a profit or else they wouldn’t do it. Their margin might be thinner than on other products but they hope to make it up on volume. Google appears to be taking N7 along the video game console approach – sell the hardware at a loss and make the profit on content

      • Droosh

        As I think about it… I bet they make most of their margin on the RAM upgrade.

  • Gerolux

    I pre-ordered the 16GB version yesterday as an impulse buy. Had the OG Transformer, I went and broke it earlier this year. Waited til after my graduation to get a new one, was going to wait on the Transformer Infinity, but I think I will take Nexus 7 for less than half the price. No expansion slot, but I never used mine on the OG Transformer, even with the keyboard dock.

  • Pre-ordered a 16GB version yesterday as soon as I saw the update on here that it had become available. Been waiting on this thing since the time I heard about it!

  • Jackson

    Yea same pondering

  • 7″ form factor definitely has its niche. i never see people at work with their 10″ tabs. however everyone that has a 7″ seems to bring it in on a nightly basis.

  • Tcali

    No; I am waiting for the Note 10.1 with Exynos!

    • TheWenger

      That or the Infinity. I’ll get the Nexus for the wife.

  • onDroid

    Already pre-ordered

  • My Xoom will get Jelly Bean pretty fast, so I’m not worried about the software, but at $200 the Nexus 7 could almost be an impulse buy… I also really liked the Surface Pro from Microsoft, but that won’t be out till Christmas… I hate making decisions I need more money!

    • arthur2142

      I bought the Nexus 7 for my wife, but I’m waiting for more information on Surface Pro for myself.

    • florious80

      I’d wait for surface pro, but it is not going to be cheap. Probably 3 to 4 times the cost of this Nexus 7.

  • MikeG

    Pre ordered my 16GB yesterday and the case too. Selling my htc Flyer on Craigslist now….

    • JoshGroff

      Swapped my Xoom for my sister’s 360 and some games, always good to have family/friends who are android fans and will buy/swap for your “old” tech when you upgrade. Saves you the time of making a listing and saves both of you money as well.

      Also, have you tried swappa? I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them.

  • Keith0606

    Already pre-ordered the16GB. Been so close to buying an i*ad and was really considering the Transformer Infinity, but I think I’ll get 95% of what I want out of a tablet with the nexus 7 for 50% of the price of those others. Not to mention this is the only tablet that you know will be kept up to date with Android version changes (without rooting/roming) in a reasonable amount of time which is a huge to me.

    • ty

      You couldn’t be any more correct.

      • michael arazan

        Have they announced any accessories for this tablet? Like a cover with keyboard or keyboard dock? Since Asus makes really nice docks for their tablets Maybe a cover with a stand on it to keep it tilted so its hands free to watch vids.

  • Matt Gondek

    As long as nobody’s Shih talking ASUS and Google…def read that last name wrong at first glance

  • spickle

    the funny thing is, i was waiting for a Nexus tablet before i bought one and Daily Steals had the Xoom real cheap so i picked it up and a week later the rumors of the Nexus 7 came out. so yea, not sure what i’m gonna do now… :

    • jdl13

      Bummer on the Xoom buy Spickle. I sold mine around Christmas in anticipation of this. I’ve been really missing having a tablet though. However, after the weight of the Xoom and the fact that the N7 has a higher screen resolution than the aforementioned, even though it’s only 7″, this is looking better and better.

      The only thing that I’m holding out for is more info on the Note 10.1. As a web designer, the ability to potentially mark-up web pages for my developer is incredibly attractive.

      • 4n1m4L

        Why does everybody think the xoom is so much worse?

        • jdl13

          Call me a weakling, but I was not at all a fan of the weight, especially compared to other 10.1″ tablets.

  • Michael Forte

    I’m seriously debating whether I want to get one. I have a Xoom but I almost think I would like the smaller form factor of the Nexus 7 better for using in bed or taking it along anywhere. The Xoom isn’t exactly the lightest tablet in the world.

    • Ryan Powell

      That’s one of the main reasons I pre-ordered mine. I bought my wife an iPad 3 upon its release and I’ve found that I want to lay it down or prop it up over holding it whenever I’ve used it. And if I did end up holding it I needed both hands which never felt comfortable when interacting with the device. A 7″ tablet might be just right.

      • WAldenIV

        I think that the 8.9-inch GTab is the perfect size. It’s not too small like the Fire and it’s not unwieldy like an iPad or 10.1-inch tablet.

        • nwd1911

          I’m hoping they release a Nexus 8.9…keep the price off the $450-500 mark, but still deliver rock star specs. If they could price an 8.9 at $300, I’d have to pull the trigger.

      • florious80

        I think some people don’t realize this, but while 10″ is good for movies, it is actually pretty unwieldy as a “portable” machine/gadget because it is actually very heavy to hold up (1 or 2 hands) for an extended period of time. Worse, OG transformer I currently own actually kills my arm if I read docs in portrait model being that it is longer in that layout. Granted I got geeky weakly arms….

    • Gioface


    • Al

      Have both lol. Xoom for home N7 for travel.

  • Greg Morgan

    definitely thinking about it…