Google Nexus 7 robertnelson/Flickr

With its quad-core processor and high resolution display, the popular Google Nexus 7 is one impressive piece of kit. Together with its low price, the specs of the Nexus 7 propelled it to tech stardom. But that doesn’t mean all is perfect about the Asus-made 7-inch tablet, as some users complained about the lack of important features, such as an SD card slot or cellular connectivity.

At least one of those grievances should be appeased soon, according to Paul O’Brien from MoDaCo, who claims that a 3G version of the Nexus 7 is in the works. In a very summary posting, O’Brien informs us that the 3G-enabled Nexus 7 will be otherwise identical with the current models. The tip comes from a “very well placed insider”, who also revealed that Asus is currently ramping up the production for the new model.

The Nexus 7 3G might arrive in as little as six weeks, says O’Brien’s insider, but availability details and territories are still unknown.

For those of you who are not familiar with O’Brien, the blogger is a respected name in the mobile industry, establishing the popular MoDaCo forums and site back in 2002. While that doesn’t guarantee the accuracy of the news, it does add credence to an otherwise unverified account.

The absence of cellular connectivity on the Nexus 7 means that users are dependent on WiFi or phone tethering, which can prove problematic when travelling. Also, some carriers (especially North American ones) restrict or charge extra for phone tethering. Another nuisance of this workaround is the quick drainage of the phone battery, which is never good news on the road.

The inclusion of 3G (nothing about LTE connectivity yet) should be a welcomed addition for a large number of customers. We don’t have any word on the pricing of the Nexus 7 3G, but a baseband chip costs about $8-$10. Adding the manufacturing cost and other factors, we can speculate that the Nexus 3G will cost about $20-$30 extra over the base version.

The news will certainly make some happy, while others will feel a bout of buyer’s remorse for getting the WiFi-only version before the new 3G version is out. Which group do you fall into?

Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.
  • Buyer’s remorse? How about betrayed and cheated? I’ve never heard of a company the size and capability of Google not announcing that there is at least a possibility of a connected version of a device of this type PRE-LAUNCH. I DEFINITELY would have waited for the device with the cellular option, so….

    …yeah. I’d say angry and betrayed is where my feelings will lie if/when this happens.

    • Yeah, Google might want to look into a trade-in program, but I think you should cut them some slack here. It’s their first effort after all.

      • Brian Goss

        Are you serious? Slack for what? The Nexus Q has been on Google play for weeks (months?), listed as “coming soon”… ditto the Nexus 7 cover. If a Nexus 7 3G is indeed this close to release, it should have been right up there on Google Play listed as “coming soon” as well. Some people won’t care about 3G, but some people would never have purchased a Nexus 7 without 3G if they knew one was on the way. Google should have given us the choice, instead of betraying us in order to inflate their initial sales figures.

        • You got it for a reason, you should have waited. I wish I would have preordered the Nexus Q so I could have gotten it for free, but that was my choice and I lost out. You lost out on getting the Nexus 7 to early. There is always something better coming.

    • derekross

      Cheated and betrayed? This is a budget friendly tablet. A 3G variant means additional costs and monthly fees. I use my Nexus 7 every day. Personally, I would never buy the 3G version. It’s a cost that I do not need on my budget friendly tablet. Some users will love the added connectivity. I don’t need it. Every where I use my tablet, I have WiFi.

      If you want it bad enough, you’ll sell yours on eBay and buy a new one. It’s not that big of a deal seeing as used ones are going on eBay just a little under the retail cost still.

      • Hello I assume that you have a nexus 7 ‘ my question for you that is the device screen left side not as the right side I mean that the lift side of my device screen is higher than the Right side ?

    • Brian Goss

      I agree. It is ridiculous on Google’s part to announce and release a new product like the Nexus 7 without ANY mention of another model this close to release (certainly one that must have already been pretty far in the development cycle). If Google thinks they can count on us “early adopters” to be so thrilled with the Nexus 7 that we will shell out for an updated device so soon, they can count me out. And just in general I think that ALL tablet manufacturers need to understand that tablets are NOT phones… while many customers upgrade their phones every year (or two), tablets are closer to “computers” in the sense that I don’t think average consumers are going to be very happy about their tablet devices becoming obsolete at the rate they are currently. Most people do not need or want to buy a new tablet every year. Amazon seems to be basically “done” with the first Kindle Fire – less than a year after release. Apple is not taking the original iPad to iOS6, even though it is technically capable (the iPhone 3GS with the same chip IS going to get iOS6)… this is not looking good for consumers…

  • Vyrlokar

    I don’t want to pay for another contract when I can tether my phone to the tablet already (and no, I’m not paying extra for that feature, gotta love Spanish MVNOs). I went for the 8 GB model already, because money is tight, so I wouldn’t have taken the 3g model anyway, not unless it could make and receive voice calls (and not over VoIP).

  • utvballman

    Personally, I would rather have a micro SD slot to expand memory for music, photos, and books.

    • Miguel

      Use google drive….dropbox…etc.

  • Bryan Rumph

    Honestly, I was thinking about getting the Nexus 7 as a budget conscious choice for a tablet. Having 3G would be nice, but the monthly service plan on top? I’ll stick with the wifi version.

  • Miguel

    The comment on here are hilarious. Here we are (well most of the posters anyways) in the U.S. and we are having “first world problems”. Complaining over a device that 30 years ago would have been laughed at (not to mention all the tech that comes with it). Google shouldn’t have to tell us every little detail. I think it’s pretty obvious that a “mobile/3g/4g” variant would eventually come out, they have to play ball with Apple and Amazon. People want stuff on the go…I’m more let down at the people who bought one without thinking “hey…I bet if I hold off for a month or two they release a 3g version”.