Editor in Chief
- Jan 5, 2011
A little over a week ago, we shared "rumint" indicating the next generation of Nexus 7 would still be from Asus and would likely come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor instead of a NVIDIA Tegra processor like the current gen version. A new report from Reuters today confirms much of our previous story. According to their sources, the new Nexus 7 will again be made by Asus and will launch in July of this year. Furthermore, the new tablet will be coming with the Qualcomm Snapdragon instead of NVIDIA tech. Here's a quote with more info,
The latest version will have a higher screen resolution, a thinner bezel design and adopt Qualcomm's chip in place of Nvidia Corp's Tegra 3, which was used in the first Nexus 7s released last year, the sources said, declining to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media.
In a blow to Nvidia, Google weighed both U.S. chipmakers' processors but finally decided on Qualcomm's for power reasons, one of the sources added.
If this report turns out to be accurate, it probably doesn't come as a surprise. NVIDIA is great at making powerful processors and GPUs but Qualcomm is just flat out better at building a more power efficient product right now. Additionally, there is speculation Google is planning a price drop for the tablet to just $149.99. Right now their pricing plans are in flux and they may stick with their current plan, but if there is a price drop it will likely be an attempt to increase sales of the Nexus 7 to put even more market pressure on Amazon and Apple. Here's another quote with more of the details,
Pricing is yet to be determined and Google's plans are fluid, the sources said. Market leader Apple is expected to launch new iPads this year as well, possibly forcing its competitors to change their assumptions.
Google may choose to sell the new gadget for $199, the same as the first generation rolled out last June, while the old model may be discounted, one of the sources said. Alternatively, the new tablet could be priced more competitively at $149 and the previous model discontinued, the source added.
The cheapest iPad mini goes for more than $300.
Though pricing has not been finalized, discounting could play to Google's and Amazon's strengths by getting cheaper hardware into more consumers' hands to drive revenue from their core Internet-based businesses.
"This is the 'zero margin strategy'," said Fubon Securities analyst Arthur Liao. "Ninety-seven percent of Google's revenue comes from advertisement, so it needs to sell more mobile devices in order to reach more consumers."
The Internet search giant, which has never disclosed tablet sales, plans to ship six to eight million of the new Nexus 7s in the second half of this year, the sources said. That compares to an estimated 4.6 million Nexus 7s sold in the same period last year, according to Enders Analysis mobile industry analyst Benedict Evans.
It looks like another tablet war is heating up for this summer. Grab some popcorn!