From a hardware standpoint, Google's
$199 Nexus 7 tablet is viewed as a win compared to Amazon's Kindle Fire device, which lacks some of the amenities found on the Asus-built slate. But one area where the Nexus 7 doesn't trump the Kindle Fire is in regards to a rear-facing camera. Neither device has one, and in both cases, the decision came down to dollars and 'sense.'
For Amazon, adding a rear-facing camera probably didn't make much sense when it was reportedly already selling the device at a loss when it launched. Asus explains a similar reason as to why it opted away from including a rear-facing camera on Google's Nexus 7 tablet.
Try as you might, you won't find a rear-facing camera on Google's Nexus 7 tablet. Asus avoided including one so users wouldn't complain, either about the price or about the quality.
"To make this device accessible to the widest possible market, price is very important. Asus believes that for this device a good rear camera is important. Adding a high quality rear facing camera will increase the price point and many users would not have a use for it," Asus explains. "Adding a lower quality rear facing camera would compromise on the overall user experience so the decision was made not to include a front facing camera therefore keeping the price down and user experience extremely high."
In other words, customers would have found something to complain about with a rear-facing camera, whether in regards to a higher price tag (if using a higher quality rear-facing camera) or the quality of the camera if Asus slapped some crappy optics on the back.