After hitting on a successful formula for the Nexus 7, Google is sticking with the maxim "Don’t fix what’s not broken". Reportedly, the Mountain View company is preparing an onslaught on the competition with the next-generation Nexus 7 later this year.
Google is in the advanced stages of production of the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet, which will be launched this July to take on the iPad mini and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. More importantly, the search giant is aiming to ship as many as 8 million of the Asus-made tablets in the second half of the year, according to sources who told Reuters. In comparison, an estimated 4.6 million Nexus 7s were sold in the same period last year, according to Enders Analysis.
Will the next Nexus 7 be a success story too?
The large volume could in part be a sign that Google thinks it will make more headway in the tablet market, but it could also be a push for developments to bring more tablet-specific apps for Android.
Although the company has not revealed any information about the tablet, this is the first we are hearing of the possible launch dates as well as Google’s sale target. The tablet could very well make an appearance at Google I/O, scheduled for next month.
Last month, the company launched the Nexus 7 in India through the Google Play Store, the first time a Nexus device has come to be available in the country through that channel. As Google aims to make deeper inroads into the Apple-dominated tablet market, it wants to aggressively sell Nexus tablets and more importantly, at a low price point—a formula that worked wonders for the Nexus 7, which was also manufactured by Asus.
Earlier rumours about the second-generation Nexus 7 have put forward the speculation that the tablet will come with a higher resolution display than the current Nexus 7. It is also expected to sport a thinner bezel and eschew Nvidia’s Tegra 3 for a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, most likely the Snapdragon 600. Reportedly, Google tested both SoCs before deciding on Qualcomm for the better power efficiency.
As for the pricing of the rumoured tablet, it will be in the range of the Nexus 7, which is available for Rs 15,999 onwards in India. Apparently, Google is being flexible on the pricing and is possibly waiting for some idea of the next-gen Apple iPad mini, before arriving at a reasonable price tag. The sources did say that Google could choose to sell the new gadget for $199, the price at which the first generation tablet was introduced last year. Another theory is that it could discontinue the old models and go with an ultra-competitive $149 (approx Rs 8,000) price tag for the next-gen model. In comparison, the base model of the iPad mini is priced double of the $149 target.
At that price, we doubt any other company could go toe-to-toe with Google who has kept steadfast to a "zero margin strategy". Fubon Securities analyst Arthur Liao shed more light on why Google could price the second Nexus 7 so low. "Ninety-seven percent of Google's revenue comes from advertisement, so it needs to sell more mobile devices in order to reach more consumers," he told Reuters.