HTC Nexus 8 reportedly will replace Nexus 7 line — a good move or not?

April 21, 2014
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Starting in February we’ve heard numerous rumors suggesting that HTC and Google are teaming up to create a “premium” Nexus tablet experience. Since that time, we’ve also heard at least one report that suggested the tablet could end up sized somewhere between the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.

Now, a new Digitimes report has surfaced claiming that, instead of the previously rumored 8.9-inch form factor, the HTC tablet will offer an 8-inch display and will likely go by the name Nexus 8. Digitimes sources also claim that Google is being “less aggressive” with its tablet strategy this time around, as the Nexus tablet line has already served its primary purpose: boosting Android’s tablet market pentration.

the Nexus 8 will reportedly be the company’s third-gen ‘smaller’ tablet, meaning that we may or may not see a 3rd-gen Nexus 7

What’s interesting about the report’s wording is that Digitimes sources indicate the Nexus 8 will be the company’s third-gen ‘smaller’ tablet, meaning that we may or may not see a 3rd-gen Nexus 7. The report also claims that, likely dependent on the Nexus 8’s success or lack thereof, Google may be ending its Nexus tablet program in the future.

Let’s be honest, there’s not a lot of details in this new report, and they could easily just be pieced together from the many other HTC Nexus tablet rumors we’ve already heard. It also seems at least a little bit fishy to think that Google would replace the lower-priced Nexus 7 line with a more premium (and likely more expensive) Nexus 8. And finally, it’s important to remember that Digitimes has a very hit-and-miss reputation, with more misses than hits as of late.

Why would Google ditch the Nexus 7?

The Nexus 7 2013 might not be the best selling tablet in the mobile world, but it’s still one of the most popular tablet options in the Android ecosystem. The Nexus 7 2013 not only has an excellent price point, it also offers pure Android and comes in a form factor that is reasonably portable — fitting in purses, handbags, a large front pocket on men’s jeans, etc.

There are fans of the Nexus 7 line that will more than likely gladly make the jump to a 3rd generation model, but would these same Nexus 7 fans be interested in a Nexus 8? It really depends. If Google does plan to ditch the Nexus 7, they’d need to tread carefully with the Nexus 8.

If the Nexus 8 had ultra-thin bezels so it wasn’t too much bigger than the N7 and yet still offered an aggressive price tag in a more premium (metal?) package? It’s possible Nexus 7 fans would still be interested, despite the downsides involved with going to a bigger form factor. Then again, there are those that prefer plastic builds and absolutely want the portability that comes with a 7-inch tablet.

Would Google be willing to turn these folks away? Honestly, we don’t have the answers and only Google (and maybe HTC) know for sure what’s going on.

So let’s leave the questions to our readers: Would you be “ok” with the idea of Google ditching the Nexus 7 in favor of the Nexus 8? What if this also meant no Nexus 10, either?

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