Google is readying a new version of its smash hit Nexus 7 – the tablet that created the 7-inch ‘mini-tablet’ market overnight.
Reuters is reporting that the company is readying a new 7-inch tablet for release in July.
Google shipped more than 4.6 million units of the original Nexus 7 in 2012, which directly caused Apple to release the iPad Mini – despite earlier proclamations by Steve Jobs that the size format wouldn’t work for tablets.
Despite being a panic release by Apple (the iPad mini is little more than a shrunken iPad 2, vastly outspecced by the Nexus 7), it sold 3 million at launch in November.
Google will continue to use ASUS to build the device, but will be moving its chipset away from NVidia’s Tegra line to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon range. If true, the move to Qualcomm is yet another blow for NVidia, which has seen the popularity of its Tegra 3 range dissipate – it has haemorrhaged customers due to a perception that the company over promises, and under delivers – especially when it comes to power consumption. The Tegra 4 has not been seeing the pre-orders its predecessor did.
The Reuters report also suggests that Google wants to keep its current pricing regime in place, namely £159 for the 16GB wi-fi only version. It has also been suggested that Google may look to price the tablet even more aggressively at US$149 ( £100) to help combat the other budget tablets, such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Nobles’ Nook. Given most of Google’s revenue is based on advertising, hardware margins are less important to the company – getting its tablets into the hands of consumers is more important.