$99 Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet to launch in the U.S.

The Novo7, a 7-inch tablet that runs Ice Cream Sandwich, currently available in China, is expected to make its debut in the United States in the next few months with a retail price of $99. Currently offered in China from Ainol Electronics, the tablet is expected to be available in North America from brand names including Leader International and OMG Electronics.
The new tablet, expected to shake up the market just as the Kindle Fire did when it launched in November, offers a MIPS XBurst 1GHz CPU and includes front and rear cameras, 3D capability, 1080p video decoding and an HDMI port. It also provides 8 hours of battery life and also features a multitouch-capable touchscreen. Where as other inexpensive tablets are known for running an older version, the Novo7 comes with the latest version of Android. the Novo7 has also been certified by Google and is tantamount to Google and MIPS competing with ARM and Amazon devices.
While Amazon’s Kindle Fire is technically built upon Android, the mobile operating system was drastically forked to suit the e-retailer’s needs. The $199 tablet also does not provide users with access to the Android Market while the Novo7 does.

It appears, that with Google currently struggling to compete with Apple’s iPad in the market, their strategy is to focus on providing devices for the lower end of the market who may otherwise be excluded. This very strategy proved successful with Android smartphones where it has been taking a significant chunk of the market and outselling the iPhone. For MIPS, the Novo7 could represent an aggressive push into the tablet market currently dominated by ARM processors. Earlier this year, MIPS said it planned to have an Ice Cream Sandwich demo available within weeks of the release of the source code, with a model in production within 90 days. Instead, the Novo7 became available within a few weeks
Google’s Android head, Andy Rubin, said that “I’m thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market. Low-cost, high-performance tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android’s openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world.”
source: PC World