ASUS CEO Jonney Shih has given a blunt summary of the development process for the Nexus 7 tablet launched at Google IO today, saying that Google “demand a lot” from their hardware partners. Building to a strict target price without cutting corners led to no small number of headaches on the R&D team, apparently; “our engineers said it is like torture” Shih told AllThingsD. To meet those demands, ASUS had to assign at least forty extra team members to the project.
Those staff were spread across the world, taking advantages of the time zone differences to achieve a 24hr development cycle. In total, the Nexus 7 project took four months from start to finish. “I don’t think there would have been any other partner that could move that fast” Google’s Andy Rubin said of ASUS’ involvement.
Meanwhile, Google was working on the ecosystem to go with the Nexus 7, something which Rubin says he had identified was missing from the Android tablet segment beforehand. So, the company now has a new, tablet-centric version of Currents as well as movie, TV and magazine options in the Play Market.
Nexus 7 hands-on:
Still, it seems neither Google nor ASUS expect to be getting rich off the back of the Nexus 7. “When it gets sold through the Play store, there’s no margin,” Rubin admitted, “it just basically gets [sold] through.” Nonetheless, there are apparently signs that the tablet could be headed to retail shelves as well as being sold direct.
More on the Google Nexus 7 in our hands-on.