With Google announcing its new Android Nexus devices and Android Lollipop on October 15th and Apple announcing its new iPad lineup on October 16th, you could have been forgiven for thinking Google intended to pit the Nexus 9 against the iPads and wanted to one-up their release by announcing the new Nexus tablet a day earlier. As it turns out, the Nexus 9 wasn’t designed as an iPad killer as Alberto Villarreal, the Nexus 9’s head industrial designer, elucidates:
“We wanted to accelerate the premium market for Android tablets… it has a lot of attributes and definitely will bring the quality for other companies to do better.”
In a lot of ways, this makes sense for both the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, and indeed, many of Google’s previous Nexus devices – Nexus devices have always pushed the boundaries of what is possible in Android devices, both on a software and hardware level, so that manufacturers have something to aim for and surpass, something which the Nexus 9, at the very least, does for Android tablets. Obviously, Google has more recently toyed with affordable options like the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (and to a lesser extent the Nexus 10) and it has proven to be effective, if not lucrative, but perhaps Google has seen the need to lead the Android market again, something which is epitomized by the HTC-manufactured Nexus 9. And as for why Google chose HTC to help manufacture and design the Nexus 9?
“We saw the One and really liked how their designs were very simple, focused on usability and removed things that didn’t need to be there… they have nice craft and precision details and materials.” says Villarreal.
And that’s something we can’t argue with. The Nexus 9 is now available to pre-order on the Google Play Store starting at $399 USD.