Unnamed Taiwan-based supply chain makers report that Google is working on an 8-inch tablet set to be released at the end of April. Google is expected to ship two million units initially.
According to the report, this will be the company's third-generation Nexus tablet, meaning Google may have no plans to release a 7-inch model this year. This new model will follow the 2nd generation Nexus 7 debuting in July 2013 and the 1st generation model in June 2012.
The move to 8 inches likely stems from the second generation Nexus 7, as despite the improved hardware and positive reviews, the sales weren't exactly what Google hoped for, sources claim. They also said that the cumulative sales of the second generation Nexus 7 were less than 3 million units as of the end of 2013.
That said, with the market now saturated with 7-inch solutions, the price competition is intense. What better way to get out of the race than to sport a bigger screen and let the competitors have at it? Sources claim that Google doesn't want to compete with the 5-inch and 6-inch smartphones market either.
So far, the 8-inch tablet market inhabited by Apple's iPad Mini, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, the Asus MeMO Pad 8 and several more. The sources believe that Asus will likely produce the 8-inch Nexus tablet for Google just like it did with the two Nexus 7s. Other sources have named LG as the 8-inch tablet supplier.
Last week, Focus Taiwan reported that the local media said that HTC is making a return to the tablet market by producing a Nexus unit for Google. According to the report, HTC won orders for a high-end Nexus tablet line that will begin to ship in the third quarter. HTC's tablet experience includes the HTC Flyer (2011) and the Jetstream (2011).
HTC manufactured Google's first Nexus phone back in 2010.
Does this mean HTC could be working on the Nexus 10’s successor? Who knows at this point. A prototype was passed around at CES last year, and then sources indicated that the device would finally show up in time for the holidays. Of course that didn't happen, and now there's some doubt that Google will even return to the 10-inch market, that perhaps Google believes the 8-inch form factor is the sweet spot.
We'll see how that goes when the tablet hits retail shelves.