Google will refresh the Nexus 7 this summer and in doing so it will switch from using NVIDA’s Tegra 3 to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor. According to two different sources, who have spoken to Reuters, Google wants to sell 8 million of the revamped Nexus 7 during the second half of this year.
Since updates from Amazon and Apple are also extremely likely this summer, Google is clearly intent on increasing its tablet market share. The projected sales figure of 8 million tablets is the first time that details have been released (leaked) about how Google expects the Nexus 7 to perform.
The new Nexus 7 will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, possibly the S4 Pro as that is already being used in the Nexus 4, but the Snapdragon 600 isn’t out of the question; a higher screen resolution display (possibly 1920 x 1080); and a thinner bezel.
The move to Qualcomm for the new Nexus 7 is being seen as a blow to NVIDIA who is competing fiercely with Qualcomm and Samsung for the number one spot at the top end of the mobile processor market.
Of course pricing is key in the 7 to 8 inch tablet market. The cheapest Apple tablet, the iPad mini, costs $329 and is quite low on specs (it only has a dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM and a 1024 x 768 resolution display). Amazon have the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD which cost $159 and $199 respectively. It is likely that Amazon will revamp its Kindle Fire line as well this year (but probably later than the July date given for the new Nexus 7). HP is planning to release the Slate this summer for $169, a very competitive price but it only has a dual-core CPU and a 1024 x 600 resolution display. The Kindle Fire is $10 cheaper and comes with a better display.
There are several options for Google in terms of pricing. It could just simply replace the current Nexus 7 and keep the entry price the same ($199). Or it could do what Amazon did with the Kindle Fire and keep selling the current Nexus 7 (but with only 8GB of flash) for a dramatically lower price ($159 or even lower) and sell the new model at $199.
Reuters tried contacting Google, Qualcomm and NVIDIA but, as to be expected, none of the companies had any comments to make.