Google (GOOG) and its hardware partner ASUS are reportedly planning to launch a new $99 Nexus tablet this year that could open up the tablet market to a massive new group of consumers. The report comes from Digitimes on Thursday, and it cites unnamed industry sources in claiming two new Nexus tablets are currently in the works. The first will apparently be a thinner version of the current $199 Nexus 7 and the second will be a new $99 model. Both tablets will utilize display panels from HannStar Display, the report claims. $99 is often thought of as the magic price point that makes purchase decisions far less difficult for consumers, and if Google can hit that price with a decent piece of hardware, it could very well mount a solid defense against Apple’s (AAPL) rumored upcoming iPad mini, which will be unveiled next month at a price point of either $249 or $299 according to earlier reports.
UPDATE: ASUS has denied Digitimes’ claim that it is working on a $99 Nexus tablet.