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Snapdragon-powered Google Nexus 7 refresh will arrive in July

by Mark Tyson on 3 April 2013, 12:15


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Two sources speaking to Reuters, who didn’t want to be named, have said that Google will launch a new version of the Nexus 7 tablet around July this year. The new mini tablet will sport a higher resolution screen, a thinner bezel and be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC. One of Reuter’s sources suggested the new tablet would be priced even more aggressively, starting at $149 rather than $199, to ensure its success.

Hardware changes

If the insider information is true Nvidia will have been dealt a heavy blow by Google’s decision to move from Tegra to Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs. Nvidia and Qualcomm compete aggressively but it looks like Qualcomm has won the upper hand in this battle. The Reuters source said that “Google weighed both U.S. chipmakers' processors but finally decided on Qualcomm's for power reasons”. I think we are talking about power usage/battery life here if the previous HTC One X Tegra 3 vs. HTC One X Snapdragon S4 comparisons are a good indicator.

Other hardware advances trumpeted by Reuters sources include both a higher resolution screen and a thinner bezel design.

Aiming for 8 million unit sales

Sales of the existing Nexus 7 during 2012 are said to have been between “4.5 million and 4.8 million” according to TechCrunch, who suggested that Google may want to sell double that figure with the next Nexus 7 iteration. While nothing is set in stone as yet, pricing of the new ASUS manufactured unit could be the same as the old version or drastically cut to $149, bringing the fight to Amazon.

Analyst Arthur Liao of Fubon Securities explained “This is the 'zero margin strategy'. Ninety-seven percent of Google's revenue comes from advertisement, so it needs to sell more mobile devices in order to reach more consumers.” Also it would be hoped that more Android tablets would help “accelerate development of tablet-specific applications” for Android, to better compete with iOS tablets.

Google, ASUS, Qualcomm and Nvidia have all remained silent regarding the Reuters information leak.

HEXUS Forums :: 20 Comments

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Its was only yesterday I was reading that Nvidia was stating the Tegra 5 will be more powerfull that the CPU/GPU's found in the Xbox 360/PS3 - at the rate things are going Nvidia may not get a chance to release a Tegra 5
On the strength of the original Nexus7, I'm practially sold on this already at that price. They'd have to seriously butcher the spec/build quality before I'd go looking elsewhere for a 7" tablet.
I have constantly been tempted to buy the Nexus 7 but by the time I was at the tipping point I thought there was a new one due and it seems that I was right at least :D, hate Nvidia so if this is true then it is indeed excellent news as the Snapdragons are far superior.

Be interesting if they did actually come out $50 cheaper it would be very impressive!.
hate Nvidia so if this is true then it is indeed excellent news as the Snapdragons are far superior.

From a user perspective the only reason you'd ever know its an NVidia/Qualcomm/TI/AllWinner/Whatever SOC is because you read the spec list, delved into the deep menus or tried to install NVidia's game product. All of them have better/worse/faster/slower versions.

Whether or not its good news really depends on which Snapdragon SOC it is, the 200 is probably worse than a Tegra 3 and almost certainly most of the 200 and 400 SKUs would lose out in performance to a Tegra 4, maybe only better battery life.
Wonder if there will be some good “run out” deals on the current/old Nexus 7? I quite fancy having a go at Ubuntu Tablet Edition, but don't think that buying a full price Nexus 7 for that is sensible.

Wonder if the move to Snapdragon will reduce the heating effect that some of my Nexus 7 owning friends have mentioned.