Asus Denies $99 Nexus 7 Tablet Rumor

Sometimes rumors are more than just rumors. Having spent a long time in this business, there have been plenty of instances where a little "leaked" information has gone a long way. Letting a few details slip and then refusing to talk about the product itself is an awesome way to generate hype. It's good business to keep people interested in your product while scaring the competitors in the process.

Rumor of a $99 Nexus 7 tablet isn't surprising. Google wants to command the Android tablet market, and what better way to do that than to undercut Amazon and other 7-inch tablet makers. It's quite possible Asus and Google have gone back to the drawing board to fix the current design issues with the Nexus 7, and will relaunch a refreshed version.

But the rumor specifically states that this $99 version will be entry level – what this means is unclear – and that it will be accompanied by a more robust, upgraded version for $199. Both will be thinner than the original, and sport TN panels made by Taiwan-based panel maker HannStar Display. Both are expected to hit the market before the end of the year.

Sources claim these tablets are to help build Google's 7-inch arsenal to better compete with Apple's 7-inch iPad Mini. But there's more than just that: Amazon just launched the 7-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD tablets. Barnes & Noble also just announced the 7-inch Nook HD and the 9-inch Nook HD+. So far we really don't know what Apple plans to release, but it's frightening the 7-inch tablet market to the point that competitors are gearing up for war.

Based on the Amazon and B&N patterns, it would seem likely that Google would want to launch a 9-inch Nexus 9 tablet by the end of the year for around $199 (16 GB), and revise the current Nexus 7 and sell it for $99 (8 GB). At least this plan would put Google on equal ground with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Even more, we already know additional Nexus tablets are in the works from tablet makers other than Asus – the Nexus 7 was just the beginning.

Currently Asus is denying rumors of launching a $99 Nexus 7 tablet – that's common practice. We're betting a 9-inch model will be released by another manufacturer (Samsung?), and that the current model will be revised and sold at the cheaper price point towards the end of the year. That's speculation, of course, but we smell a little hint of truth in this rumor.

 

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  • bustapr
    I REALLY doubt this rumor wouldve been true anyway. Asus had to squeeze $200 into the nexus 7, theres no chance theyd manufacture it for google to sell at $99. unless google likes to loose lots of money.
    4
  • jn77
    I guess there is a market for a $99 tablet, but I am really confused as to why I can get a Samsug Galaxy SIII with 32gb on board and 64gb in the Micro SD Card slot and I can't find any Nexus tablets with 32,64, or 128gb of storage space + the card slot.

    This is the exact reason I am not buying these tablets......... 8gb what are they thinking?
    9
  • lahawzel
    Man I just bought an N7, this rumor leaves me feeling a little sad (even though it's still a solid tablet). I don't care much for a $99 tablet but I do wish that the design issues get fixed in the next version.

    jn77I guess there is a market for a $99 tablet, but I am really confused as to why I can get a Samsug Galaxy SIII with 32gb on board and 64gb in the Micro SD Card slot and I can't find any Nexus tablets with 32,64, or 128gb of storage space + the card slot.This is the exact reason I am not buying these tablets......... 8gb what are they thinking?


    If you actually use Google's cloud services to store music and streamed your video, 8GB (or rather, ~5GB) is plenty of space for everything else. This decision to cheap out on the onboard storage was most likely because plenty of people gobbled up 8GB Apple devices without complaint because it was cheaper, so they recognized that the market for a device that had little offline storage does exist.

    It's also an excuse to sell an extra 8GB of NAND for $50, but hey, people still bought it in droves.
    -3