Google is gearing up for its next 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet, and sources say the company hopes to move as many as 8 million units during the second half of the year. One way to do that would be to make the device a very aggressive price of $149, or less than half the cost of the iPad mini.
According to Reuters, Google is dumping Nvidia for a Qualcomm processor on its new slate, which would be a major blow to Nvidia’s plans for its Tegra 4 chip. Sources say Google opted for a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU instead due to power concerns.
In terms of design, the next Nexus 7 is said to sport a thinner display bezel, like the iPad mini, and a higher-resolution display. Today’s Nexus 7 has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, but considering that several Android phones now have full 1080p screens it’s logical to expect the same from the Nexus 7’s successor.
If it ships in July as expected, the new Nexus will also feature Google’s new Android 5.0 software, codenamed Key Lime Pie. The OS is said to offer much faster performance, an improved guest mode feature for multiple users and a new Babble app that aggregates multiple Google communication services, including Talk, Hangout and Voice.
The Nexus 7 would go head-to-head with not only the iPad mini but the Amazon Kindle Fire HD (or its successor). Amazon shipped nearly twice as many tablets as Google during the 4th quarter of 2012 (6 million vs 3.1 million), but a lower price could certainly turn the tide in Google’s favor. Ultimately, Google is willing to lose money on each device sold if it means more consumers are seeing its ads, which is how the company makes the bulk of its revenue.