At Google I/O 2013, Google was expected to debut a new Nexus 7 tablet, a new Nexus 7 presumably called the Nexus 7 2, to take the place of the Nexus 7 and battle not only the iPad mini but its likely successor, the iPad mini 2. That launch of course did not occur, leaving consumers wondering about the whereabouts of the Nexus 7 2 and if it might make an appearance sometime later this year.
Over the past few months, signs began pointing to a possible Nexus 7 successor at this year’s Google I/O, the same conference that Google used in 2012 to debut the current Nexus 7 tablet. Analysts and leaks pointed to an upgraded Nexus 7, a Nexus 7 2, making its debut on stage today during Google’s day one keynote. However, it appears that the company had other plans.
Instead of announcing a new Nexus 7 tablet, the company instead focused on many of its existing services, including Google Maps, and only announced one piece of new hardware in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google/Nexus Edition that will be arriving on the Google Play Store on June 26th.
The Galaxy S4 Nexus Edition was the only new piece of hardware that Google announced on stage, opting not to introduce a new Nexus 7 tablet for its Google Play Store.
Considering the timing, the Nexus 7 is approaching its first birthday and considering the rumors, this came as a bit of a shock not only to the media but to consumers as well. Of course, looking more closely at the build up to Google I/O, there were signs that something was amiss, a point that we’ll touch on in a second.
So what’s next for the Nexus 7 2, we can’t be entirely sure as the device still hasn’t emerged from the shadows. Despite the lack of information and the fact that we’re now left with tons of questions, rather than answers, we want to take a look at the five most important things that consumers should know about the Nexus 7 2, real or not.
This Isn’t Surprising
For many, the lack of a Nexus 7 2 at Google I/O will come as a surprise. However, looking back, things just didn’t seem to add up and it really isn’t surprising to see the Nexus 7 2 miss out on Google I/O.
Over the past few months, there were rumors of a Nexus 7 2 at Google I/O. However, those rumors came from suspect sources, including analysts. Some of that information, including an analysts claim that it would have a 5MP rear camera, was more than questionable. The original Nexus 7 shunned a rear camera to keep costs low and it would be odd to see Asus and Google cave to pressure that simply isn’t there. Tablets don’t make good cameras.
Maybe more telling was the fact that the Nexus 7 2 didn’t leak out ahead of the event. Typically, Nexus devices, just see the Nexus 4 as an example, leak out in the wild ahead of their debut. It was extremely strange to see the Nexus 7 2 remain in the shadows all the way until the keynote. Sure, Google was able to do it with the Nexus Q last year but that was an anomaly.
So while it may seem a little strange that the Nexus 7 2 didn’t debut at Google I/O, know that rumors were flimsy at best and that in reality, it’s not much of a surprise at all.
Don’t Count a Nexus 7 2 Out
That said, those who are indeed interested in a new 7-inch tablet from Google should not count one out for 2013. Some of the information contained in these rumors was likely correct and Google simply may have chosen not to use Google I/O as the Nexus 7 2’s launching pad, instead opting for a release down the road.
Google had great success with the Nexus 7 tablet and we imagine that it will be releasing a successor at some point down the road, much like it does with its yearly Nexus smartphone. The time just isn’t right now.
With Apple likely introducing a new iPad mini 2 this year, Google will surely be releasing something with a partner to try and counteract it and a new Nexus 7 is definitely up to the task.
Possible Release Date
A new Nexus 7 tablet is likely on the table for sometime in 2013, it’s just a matter of when. Now that Google has chosen not to debut a new tablet at Google I/O, a release date is completely up in the air. There is one window that users can circle on the calendar though.
Google typically holds two major events during the year. Google I/O, and another event later in the year where it announces its yearly Nexus smartphone. Last year’s Nexus event centered around the Nexus 4, Android 4.2 and the Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 3G tablets.
That date is strategically placed before the holiday season, much like Apple’s tablet launches, so it could be that we see Google debut a new Nexus 7 2 then alongside the rumored Nexus 11 tablet.
Apple neglected to offer a new tablet in the first half of 2013 and it could be that Google is simply biding its time before it shows its hands to the world. Android 5.0 figures to be a massive release and it could be that it wants to debut a powerful tablet with a powerful piece of software, not Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
Despite not knowing exactly what Asus and Google have up their sleeve for the Nexus 7 2, consumers should know that the features are fairly predictable.
Should it arrive later this year, and it likely will, the device will come equipped with the latest version of Android in vanilla form. It will more than likely come with at least 16GB or 32GB storage with no microSD card support, and it will more than likely come equipped with a 1080p display, the standard for devices of 2013.
We also now know that Google is still keen on offering 4G LTE devices. The new Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus Edition comes with 4G LTE support for AT&T and T-Mobile so we expect that any new Nexus 7 2 would likely come with the same feature attached.
Expect a solid front-facing camera as well and a design that is tweaked, possibly thinner and lighter than the original Nexus 7. All of these features are still going to be top-notch late in 2013.
Nexus 7 Still a Solid Choice
All of that said, the Nexus 7 still remains a solid choice for those looking for an alternative to the 7.9-inch iPad mini. The device’s 720p display is still top-notch for this form factor and remember, it’s also powered by a Tegra 3 quad-core processor which is suitable for the needs of most people.
Maybe best of all, it’s extremely cheap and will continue to remain that way. The device is a mere $199 for a 16GB model and only $250 for the larger 32GB Nexus 7. Both prices should be easily stomached by consumers on the hunt for a new tablet.
Also keep in mind, this is a Nexus device which means that it will not only continue to be swiftly updated but it will get updated for the months and possibly years to come.
No, there wasn’t a Nexus 7 2 at Google I/O, but shoppers can still buy the older Nexus 7 with confidence.