The new Google Nexus 7 tablet will sell for $230 and go on sale July 30 with a host of improvements, according to unconfirmed reports circulating online.
One report, from PhoneArena.com, points to a "leaked" Best Buy ad that announces that the new Nexus 7 will be available in the company's stores starting on July 30 at a price of $229.99.
"According to an anonymous tipster, the image we have is a Best Buy flyer that is scheduled to run on July 28th (next Sunday), and the flyer clearly says 'available Tuesday,' which would be July 30th," the story reported. The ad also confirms that the 16GB model of the tablet will include a display resolution of 1,920 by 1,200.
A separate report about the upcoming Nexus 7 from Engadget said the latest version of the device will include a 7-inch screen, a quad-core 1.5GHz CPU, front-facing and external cameras, Android 4.3, wireless charging and a Slim Port for hooking the tablet to a full-size television. "That mostly lines up with the other rumors we've seen," reported Engadget. The price of the 32GB version is expected to be $270, or $20 over the existing model, according to the report.
"Yet another tipster has reached out to us to share that the next iteration of the Nexus 7 will officially go on sale in Staples on July 31st," according to an internal memo reported by Engadget. The devices will reportedly "arrive in [Staples] stores as early as the 24th, but they'll be kept under lock and key until the last day of the month. This doesn't preclude Google from selling the devices through the Play store earlier, though, but that would mean taking the plunge without trying it out first."
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.
Longer term, Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms will eventually relinquish some market share to Windows-based tablets, with Windows 8 predicted to grow from 1 percent of the market in 2012 to 7.4 percent in 2017. However, IDC said it expects Windows RT growth to remain below 3 percent during the forecast period.