With the success Google and ASUS found with the Nexus 7, a tablet that many will agree kick-started the popularity of Android tablets as a viable alternative to the iPad, it should come as no surprise that the search giant and Taiwanese company are said to be working on a second-generation Nexus 7 tablet for a release this year, presumably at the Google I/O event in May.
The report comes from Digitimes, who apparently have come across recently released engineering samples of the device. According to these samples, the display will be upgraded to a Full HD one (1920 x 1080 pixels) and the tablet will feature an industrial design with a thinner display border. Despite the bump in specs, the price target will remain the same as the currently available Nexus 7 at $199-$249.
Digitimes‘ sources also mention that it will be running “Google’s upgraded Jelly Bean-based Android operating system”, though it will likely be the flagship device for showcasing Key Lime Pie or whatever the next version of Android is to be called, as Google I/O is known for introducing newer versions of the OS. We can also expect it to be powered by NVIDIA’s next-gen Tegra 4 processor, since ASUS seems quite fond of using NVIDIA chipsets in all their devices.
Digitimes also states that Nexus 7 shipments are expected to surpass six million units by the end of this month, and that the $249 model is the best-selling of the models currently available. Also, the second-gen Nexus 7 should make up for a total of more than ten million units of all Nexus 7’s by the end of 2013, which I’m sure will no doubt happen if an upgraded Nexus 7 actually comes along this year.
News of a next-gen Nexus 7 will surely excite Android users, and no doubt generate enough sales provided Google is able to learn from the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 fiasco and makes a good amount of units available in the market. Hopefully, the tablet ecosystem on Android will get another boost as well, as God knows we’re sorely in need of that when we compare it to the iOS ecosystem.
There’s still a lot of time left before Google I/O happens, so we can expect to hear more on this second-generation Nexus 7 in the coming months. For now, let us just hope that this new and upgraded Nexus 7 exists.