A new report from a Chinese tech blog suggests that Google and China-based Asustek (ASUS) are planning to release a new Nexus 7 to compete with the upcoming slew of mid-range tablets set for release during 2013.
While Google's first foray into the world of seven-inch tablets has been met with both critic and consumer approval, the Nexus 7 is beginning to show its age and will soon be unable to stand toe-to-toe with similarly sized tablets. With Apple and Samsung each planning new mid-range tablet releases this year -- the iPad mini with Retina display and Galaxy Note 8.0 respectively -- it only makes sense that Google and ASUS move forward with plans to release an updated Nexus 7. Prior rumors have also suggested the company is also working on an updated Nexus 10 as well; however, neither Asus or Google have confirmed either report at this time.
According to DigiTimes, an outlet known to be fairly hit-or-miss with these sorts of rumors, the new Nexus 7 will ship with a thinner build, full 1080p display, faster processor, and a new iteration of the "Jelly Bean" Android build. Google and ASUS hope to ship 10 million of the refreshed Nexus 7's before the end of 2013, a lofty goal which would certainly suggest that the two companies will be aiming to get the updated tablet in consumers' hands as soon as possible.
First generation Nexus 7 sales have been strong since the tablet's release last July, with inside sources revealing that the popular seven-inch tablet was moving one million units per month as of December 2012. Prior to December, the tablet was consistently moving 700,000 to 800,000 every 30 days according to ASUS. It's also believed that the original Nexus 7 sold at least five million units by the end of 2012. Given the strong sales numbers posted during its first year on the market, a follow-up to the Nexus 7 seemed like a no-brainer to many observers, analysts and fans of the tablet.
The report says that the second-generation Nexus 7 will be officially revealed sometime during May 2013, with tablet sales presumably beginning soon after the announcement, if not the very same day. Pricing is expected to remain the same as existing Nexus 7 models, with a new 16GB Nexus 7 shipping for $199 and the 32GB shipping for $249 (Wi-Fi) or $299 (AT&T/T-Mobile HSPA+).
Previous iterations of the Nexus 7 (original, HSPA+) went on sale the same day they were announced by the company; however, customers were forced to wait a few weeks before each prior model began shipping. For that reason, we'd be shocked to see the Nexus 7 in customers' hands before June 2013 at the earliest; however, we'd also love to see that prediction proven wrong.
What would you like to see updated, added or removed if/when Google and Asustek release a second-generation Nexus 7 later this year?
Leave your answers in the comment section!