Unnamed sources are saying that Google plans to release an update to its Nexus 7 tablet this July. The new device would include several hardware improvements and could cost as little as $150.
Clare Jim with Reuters first reported the story, writing, “Google Inc will launch a new version of its Nexus 7 tablet powered by Qualcomm Inc’s Snapdragon processor around July, two sources told Reuters, as the software giant pushes deeper into the cut-price mobile hardware market. Google is aiming to ship as many as eight million of the Asustek-made tablets in the second half of the year, throwing down the gauntlet to other low-end tablets such as Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle Fire and Apple Inc’s iPad mini, the sources with knowledge of the new product said.”
Ars Technica’s Andrew Cunningham noted, “The new version will bring several improvements over last year’s model: it will make the screen’s bezels slightly thinner to reduce its overall size, increase the resolution from the current tablet’s 1280×800, and include a system-on-a-chip from Qualcomm rather than the current tablet’s Nvidia SoC. The decision to go with the as-yet unspecified Qualcomm chip instead of Nvidia’s next-generation Tegra 4 was made because of concerns with power consumption.”
Nathan Eddy with eWeek added, “The sources also said Google would discontinue the old model when the new tablet debuted, and one source said Google might decide to lower the entry-level price to $149 from $199.”
ZDNet’s Ben Woods observed, “The first Nexus 7 device was received well by the buying public and stock shortages were quickly reported via several retailers. Its release was largely seen as a response to the success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet that uses a fork of the Android operating system.”