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Rumor: Google Nexus tablet a ‘done deal’, could cost as little as $149

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On the day Apple’s new iPad launched to much fanfare and excitement, more details have emerged regarding the possibility of a Google tablet.

Android and Me reports that according to “a senior employee at a supply chain company based in the United States,” a new 7-inch tablet could be launched as early as May and cost as little as $149. That would put it up against Amazon’s Kindle Fire device, currently priced at $199.

The report also repeats an earlier assertion that Google will work with Asus to produce the “Nexus tablet.” The source told Android and Me that the Asus MeMo 370T, which was unveiled at CES in January, was scrapped after Google made an approach to the company about producing a tablet of its own. The source called the arrangement between the two companies “a done deal.”

The target price for the rumored Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) tablet has dropped too, with earlier reports suggesting the Mountain View company was looking at a price tag of between $199 and $249. The source said that has now been cut to between just $149 and $199.

At that price, we’ll have to expect something pretty basic, though in an interview with an Italian newspaper late last year, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt promised a tablet of “the highest quality.” He also said that the device “would be guaranteed to increase the brutal competition between Apple and Google Android,” though at that price — and with a 7-inch screen — it’ll be Amazon looking over its shoulder, not Apple.

Google has been able to arrive at the super-low price by abandoning earlier plans to use a quad-core Tegra 3 processor in its tablet, Android and Me says in its report. It also says that it expects the tablet to be unveiled at the three-day CTIA Wireless show in New Orleans which kicks off May 8.