This was first reported by IBTimes yesterday, and now other outlets are reporting that the first GoogleBook (yes, it’s the best name I could come up with) will be machine that is very competitive in the netbook market and will be sold at a very affordable $300 price range. The specifications that are being reported include:
-NVIDIA Tegra chip and an ARM CPU, which is integrated
-64GB solid-state hard drive
-2 GB RAM
-10.1 inch 1,280 x 720 HD multitouch display
-Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth
-USB ports, headphone jack
This is a pretty impressive set of features. The reports don’t indicate who is going to be making it, but it’s clear that if this device is going to be sold for $300, wireless carriers are going to have to subsidize the cost with what may be a hefty data plan. But being locked into a contract for two years or so might work for a netbook this powerful. It may not necessarily be a bad idea for this type of gadget to adopt the wireless phone/smartphone life cycle. I think that in order for this to be successful, it needs to be as simple or even more simple than using a phone to keep users interested in this product.
At this point, I would be curious to know how much carriers would charge in a GoogleBook data plan. This is because there have been rumors of wireless carriers like AT&T setting up tiered plans for wireless data as they currently do for voice based on data’s popularity with smartphone, especially the iPhone.
The plan is still to have the GoogleBook out by Christmas 2010, just in time for the impending 4G rollout. In order for this technology to be able to fully embrace a thin-client cloud computing architecture, 4G is probably going to be a necessity for this device to succeed.