As if the battle between high-end, high-priced tablets (like the iPad) and more affordable models isn’t already heated enough, the high-trafficked homepage of Google today has been transformed into an advertisement—some sites are calling it a “billboard”—for Google’s $199 8GB Nexus 7.

Why now? A well-reported piece on The Wall Street Journal‘s Market Watch site breaks it down like this:

“‘This is a great time for Google to promote this tablet,'” says branding consultant Rob Frankel. Given the uncertainty about how Apple’s victory will impact Android manufacturers, he says now is the time to aggressively push those devices.” 

and …

“Just days after Apple’s patent victory over Samsung, the tablet marketing wars are heating up. is advertising its two-month-old $199 Nexus 7 tablet. But Google (US:GOOG)  has one marketing weapon its competitors can’t match: A home page that gets a virtually guaranteed hundreds of millions of views a day.”

With the Windows RT Surface tablet now scheduled to launch on October 26 at a rumored $199 price-point, this should be an interesting fall season for tablet watchers, no matter what their budget.


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