Google sells small tablet, challenges Kindle Fire

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google will sell a small tablet computer bearing its brand in a challenge to Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

The Nexus 7 is designed specifically for Google Play, the online store that sells movies, music, books, apps and other content — the things Amazon.com Inc. also sells for its tablet computer.

Both tablets have screens that measure 7 inches diagonally, smaller than the nearly 10 inches on Apple Inc.’s popular iPad. The Nexus 7 will also be light — at about 0.75 pound, compared with the Kindle Fire’s 0.9 pound. The iPad weighs 1.44 pounds.

The Nexus 7 will ship in mid-July starting at $199 — the same price as the Kindle Fire. By contrast, iPads start at $499. Customers can start ordering it through Google on Wednesday, initially in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Andrew Rassweiler, an analyst with IHS iSuppli, said he suspects Google will be subsidizing the tablet to sell it starting at $199.

The Nexus 7 has more features than the Kindle, including a front-facing camera. The Kindle is believed to be roughly break even at that price. Samsung Electronics Co. sells a tablet similar to Google’s for $250.

The Nexus 7 will run the next version of Google Inc.’s Android operating system, called Jelly Bean.

Google also announced a home entertainment device called Nexus Q. It sends content from your personal collection or YouTube to your existing TV and speaker systems. You control it through a separate Android phone or tablet.

The Nexus Q, which Google is calling the world’s first “social streaming device,” will available in July in the U.S. initially and sell for $299.

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