Report: Google Preps New Nexus 7 Tablet for Summer
The mobile device will run on Qualcomm’s (NASDAQ: QCOM) Snapdragon processor instead of the Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) Tegra 3 chip featured in the current Nexus 7 models, offer a higher screen resolution and a thinner bezel, according to sources cited in the report. Google is said to have weighed both companies’ processors but tapped the Snapdragon for power reasons, which couldn’t have pleased rival Nvidia none too much, as the chip makers jockey to find a stronghold in the tablet market.
As with the existing Nexus 7, this next unit reportedly will be built by ASUS, which recently unwrapped a hybrid PC tablet running the Tegra 3 chip, and will co-brand with Google on the upcoming model.
Does Google think it can cut itself a bigger slice from the 7-inch tablet pie—specifically, maybe take a larger chunk of the market from Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad Mini, Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy Tab? Researcher IDC’s worldwide tablet shipment figures for Q4 2012 show Apple leading the market with a 43.6 percent, followed by Samsung at 15.1 percent, Amazon at 11.5 percent and ASUS at 5.8 percent.
The Amazon, Google and Samsung 7-inch tablets all are priced at less than $200 with the iPad Mini an outlier at $300, so it will be of more than passing interest to see where Google prices the next edition of the Nexus 7, currently offered at $199 in the 16GB model. A source cited in the Reuters story said that Google is mulling whether to price the new unit at $199 or to pare the asking price to $149 to draw out more low-end buyers—a strategy that may be effective were the search giant to discontinue the earlier model.
According to the report, Google is prepping to ship as many as 8 million new Nexus 7 units in the second half of 2013, roughly doubling the amount the company moved during the same period 2012. That alone suggests it may price the new model well below the current edition.