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Google CEO touts importance of low-cost Android tablets during the search giant's Q1 earnings call

by David Needle

April 12 2012

Google CEO Larry Page says the lower end of the Android tablet market is "important" and stressed the need for devices to work better together.
Google CEO Larry Page says the lower end of the Android tablet market is "important" and stressed the need for devices to work better together.

In an earnings call with analysts this afternoon, Google CEO Larry Page briefly discussed Google’s progress with tablets and how they fit in with the company's strategic mix.

Does Google have a low-cost tablet in the works? Page didn’t comment on rumors that Google will release a branded Android tablet this summer that will be priced to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. 

The initial speculation started last fall when Google chairman Eric Schmidt hinted the company was developing a tablet that would compete directly with the iPad, But in the past month, a number of reports have indicated the company’s plans are to compete more directly with Kindle Fire at the low end. 

In response to questions about Google’s tablet strategy Page said he thought the low end of the market was important. 

“We believe there will be a lot of success at the lower end,” said Page. “It’s definitely an area we think is important and we’re very focused on it.” 

As to Android specifically, Page pointed out that a new operating system doesn’t come along very often and that one of the goals of Android was to increase the pace of innovation. “I think we’re doing a great job,” he said. 

Page also pushed the need for convergence and simpler management of devices. 

“Right now each device is a hassle to deal with. I think that’s not really right,” he said. “You want a unified experience so you won’t have to manage the different devices and you can get all these screens around you working well together.

He pointed to services like Google+ that are designed to work across devices as an example. 

Google’s goal is drive convergence and make sure devices work well together. “I don’t expect any single device to drive convergence,” said Page. 

As to the company's earnings, the good times keep rolling for the Mountain View, Calif. tech giant. Google reported revenues today of $10.65 billion, profits of $2.89 billion, earnings per share of $10.08, and diluted earnings per share of $8.75. The earnings per share compares favorably to the year-ago, Q1 number which was $5.51.

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