Google is all set to unveil the full details about its updated Nexus 7 tablet July 24 at a press event, but Best Buy is getting ahead of the sales curve by launching a pre-order system for the new devices.
The pre-order offer by Best Buy is being done in advance of Google's official launch for the new machines, according to a report by The Verge. Google is set to launch the new tablets July 30 at a starting price of $230 for the 16GB model and $270 for the 32GB model, according to other recent reports.
Best Buy had already leaked details of the new Nexus 7 tablets in an advertising circular that will go into newspapers around the nation on July 28. Now the pre-order system is another move on Best Buy's part to perhaps ramp up its sales of the long-awaited new devices.
"As if that Best Buy Nexus 7 flyer wasn't enough, the big retailer is stepping up its efforts to preempt Google's tablet announcement by posting its pre-order pages for the device ahead of the official launch," reported The Verge. "The online store provides full-resolution images of the newly upgraded Nexus 7 slate, detailing the addition of a camera and a now-horizontal wordmark on the back. The latter implies that Google's second Nexus 7 is intended to be used in landscape mode more often than in portrait, ostensibly in an effort to underline its credentials as a tablet rather than just an oversized phone."
Leaked details about the new devices already include a host of details, including 1,920-by-1,200 display resolution, 2GB of RAM, a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 8064 processor with Adreno 320 graphics and front-facing camera resolution of 5 megapixels, according to reports. The new Nexus 7 models will run the latest Android 4.3 and will also include a rear-facing camera with a resolution of 1.2 megapixels.
The updated new Nexus 7 tablets have been rumored since April, when details first began surfacing, according to an earlier eWEEK report. At that time, reports indicated that the 7-inch Nexus tablets would receive thinner bezels, higher-screen resolution and a move to the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor from the current Nvidia Tegra 3 chip, which was used in the first edition of the device.
The company's decision to move to Qualcomm was based on that chip's more powerful processing capability, according to sources at that time. All Snapdragon processors contain the circuitry to decode high-definition video resolution at 720p or 1080p, depending on the Snapdragon chipset.
The Nexus 7 was designed and developed by Google in conjunction with Asus to provide consumers with another option in the tablet market—specifically people who don't want to shell out upward of $400 for an Apple iPad or want a smaller form factor. Incorporating built-in WiFi and near-field communication (NFC) connectivity, it is marketed as an entertainment device with integration with Google Play and runs the company's Android operating system.
With a price starting at $199, the first Nexus 7 devices competed with similar devices such as Amazon's Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet and Nook HD, and Apple's iPad Mini. In a February blog post, mobile industry analyst Benedict Evans estimated around 4.5 million Nexus 7 tablets had been sold since the device went on sale in June 2012.
Tablet shipments will exceed 350 million by the end of 2017, due to a predicted surge of smaller, lower-priced devices in the market, while Android-based tablets expanded their share of the market notably in 2012, according to a March report from IT research firm IDC.
Android's share of the market is forecast to reach a peak of 48.8 percent in 2013, compared with 41.5 percent in IDC's previous forecast. Android's gains come at the expense of Apple's iOS platform, which is expected to slip from 51 percent of the market in 2012 to 46 percent in 2013. Smaller form factors are also expected to play a role in the growth of tablet sales in the near future.