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Google shifts focus to 8-inch tablet market

by Mark Tyson on 22 January 2014, 14:15

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), PC

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With fierce competitors including the likes of Samsung, Dell and Acer and Amazon, Google's second generation Nexus 7 tablet demand has been affected as these and other vendors offer cheaper options for 7-inch models. In a reactive move Google is now planning to focus on the 8-inch tablet market from mid-2014, according to sources interviewed by Taiwan's DigiTimes.

"Because most 7-inch Android tablets have already seen their price drop below NT$5,000 (£100), the second-generation Nexus 7, which is priced starting at US$229 (£140), is seeing that its demand is weaker than expected, especially compared to the first-generation model's six million unit shipments," said DigiTimes upstream supply chain sources.

In order to break free from the packed 7-inch tablet market Google is rumoured to be focussing on an 8-inch alternative for 2014 and will also launch the 'Nexus 8' with a display to match that built-into Apple's iPad Mini 2 (a so so-called 'Retina' model).

The unnamed sources also mentioned that Google is considering using Intel's Bay Trail-T platform but Qualcomm is also pushing to get its Snapdragon processor into the Nexus 8. Asus, the current maker of the Nexus 7 tablets, is said to have the first chance of building the Nexus 8 for the firm and "Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Lenovo are unlikely to be able to take the orders away easily," according to DigiTimes sources.

Looking at DigiTimes' track record, when it comes to rumours they don't always get it right but they have promised further details after February. We'd like to remind you to take the news with a pinch of salt as there have been lots of whispers about the Nexus 8 already, none of which Google has actually confirmed.

It does seem like 8-inch tablets do command quite a price premium on their inch-smaller siblings so it's a decent but reactive and rather sluggish move by Google moon shooters. However Apple's latest ultra-slim iPad Air is reportedly turning the tables on the iPad Mini compared with what we saw in H2 2013.

Will adding an inch really make an impact on Google's tablet sales? What are your thoughts on these rumours?



HEXUS Forums :: 14 Comments

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Still just waiting on the 2014 nexus 10. I want a decently specced tablet with front facing speakers....all the stupid designers are still focusing on aesthetics rather than functionality :(
As long as they can keep the bezel small I think this should be great. Their 7s were physically not that much smaller than the available 7.7" or 8" devices elsewhere.
An 8" tablet is a bit too close to a 10" in my opinion, a 7" just about fits in my pockets (can giant pockets be called utility pockets? If so, they're those). Regarding CPUs though I'd definitely like it if Google moved away from qualcomm, I mean here am I with a tegra note 7 tablet I picked up for £90, the tegra 4 SoC in that wipes the floor with a nexus 5 because qualcomm's CPU cores are still afaik somewhere between A9 and A15 performance. Nvidia has its own problems of course and we all remember what the nexus 2012 was like, at the same time their tegra 5 reference platform (an upgraded tegra note 7) looks promising.
The bulk of buyers are split between the haves and have nots. Either have the money for an iPad mini, or have not got the money for an iPad mini. Those in the latter camp will then go for the cheapest tablet out there whilst still offering a relatively good tablet experience.
kojak71
The bulk of buyers are split between the haves and have nots. Either have the money for an iPad mini, or have not got the money for an iPad mini. Those in the latter camp will then go for the cheapest tablet out there whilst still offering a relatively good tablet experience.

You seem to assume people want an Ipad mini?

I dislike Apple products, so for me it is down to "Is this a cheap Android tablet for the kids" or "Is this a decent Android tablet for the adults".