Google has lasered in on Asia this week, after the search giant unveiled its Nexus 7 tablet in Japan and Korea and now the device is set to come to Singapore tomorrow.
Singaporean fans shouldn’t expect a big event or stars like PSY — who put executive chairman Eric Schmidt through his paces – since the launch is being managed by ASUS, the company that manufactures the 7-inch device. Interestingly, ZDNet Asia reports that the 16GB model will be the only one available and, at S$399 (US$324.7), it’s $76 more expensive than in the US.
The upcoming launch could prove popular for gadget fans across Southeast Asia since Singapore is well known for stocking new products — like the iPhone 5 — ahead of the rest of the region. Relatively inexpensive flights make the country popular for shopping-fuelled short trips.
The low-key ASUS-led approach has already been used in Hong Kong and Taiwan, two countries where, technically, the device was available before Google officially unveiled it in Asia this week. ASUS has already revealed the tablet will make its way to India in November, and it seems likely that we can expect it to be introduced to other markets this year.
The device sits in a unique position in the market, being smaller than the iPad but larger than smartphones. That may not be the case for long as Apple is tipped to launch a smaller version of the iPad next month, although sources suggest that the much-speculated Apple device will be larger than the Nexus 7.
Perhaps with new competition in mind, sources out of Taiwan — where ASUS is based — have speculated that a 3G version of the tablet could be available and on the market by November. As you might expect, Google has not commented on that rumour.