The Nexus 7 is out on shelves, beckoning consumers to buy it over the likes of the iPad mini and the Kindle Fire HD. And while the new Nexus 7 is indeed out on shelves, it’s one of two versions that Google plans to launch this year as the Nexus 7 LTE model remains unreleased and without a release date.
At the company’s Android and Chrome event, Google showed off a number of new products including the $35 ChromeCast, an Apple TV competitor. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and the new Nexus 7. While it’s hard to pinpoint the star of the show, many will argue that it was the new Nexus 7, a device that replaced last year’s 7-inch hit and a device that has come to challenge the best in the 7-inch tablet class with a whole lot of new.
Google’s Nexus 7 represents a re-working of last year’s Nexus 7 as it combines a new design with a number of new features aimed at tempting consumers into buying it over the likes of Apple’s iPad mini and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. It will also be the device that challenges the rumored iPad mini 2 and the Kindle Fire HD 2, should they hit shelves.
Those features include a high-definition 1080p display, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a design that is more lightweight and slimmer than the older model, a 5MP camera – something that wasn’t found on the original tablet, and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Google’s most up-to-date mobile software.
The device was also announced with 4G LTE data speeds though the model that is capable of pulling down those speeds has yet to hit shelves, days after its original launch.
Google’s Wi-Fi only Nexus 7 will surely suit the needs of many consumers but for others, 4G LTE connectivity is a must. And for those that need it, waiting for Google to deliver this Nexus 7 LTE has likely been a bit painful to endure.
While we still don’t have all of the answers, we can make some educated predictions and here, we take a look at what consumers should not expect from the Nexus 7 LTE release date.
Nexus 7 LTE Release That is Months Off
Do not expect a Nexus 7 LTE release date that is far off in the distance. As we’ve mentioned, Google claimed that its Nexus 7 LTE would be out in the “coming weeks” and if that wasn’t true, the company simply would not have announced the LTE model. Remember, Google waited until November to releases both the 32GB and cellular models for the original Nexus 7.
That’s just one reason why. We’ve also seen a Japanese retailer propose that it will be coming out by the end of August, something that isn’t out of the question given Google’s official time frame.
With the Kindle Fire HD 2 rumored for August or September and Apple rumored to be coming out with an iPad mini 2 with Retina this fall, the pressure is on Google to deliver and deliver quickly.
Don’t expect it to bide its time with the Nexus 7 LTE release. Instead, it should come as soon as it is physically possible. A release should only be a few weeks out at most.
Similar Release Dates
In the past, Google has staggered its release dates for its Nexus products. We saw the Nexus 7 arrive a few weeks later for some countries while it took many months to arrive in India. In the case of the 2013 Nexus 7 Wi-Fi only model, it’s currently available in the United States, but not available in other regions like the United Kingdom.
With a Japanese retailer suggesting that it could potentially launch all three in late August, there is a chance that could see Google release the 4G LTE models in all regions at the same time.
That said, we don’t expect release dates for the LTE model to fall on the exact same day. One, we saw what happened last time Google did that. Its servers melted under the pressure of the Nexus 4 launch which took place in a number of different regions. We also saw stock shortages almost immediately.
It makes sense for Google to stagger the LTE launch, like it did with the Wi-Fi only Nexus 7 launch, in order to ensure that it can meet demand and also ensure that its servers are up and running.
We don’t expect the dates to be staggered too much, just don’t expect them to be on the exact same day across all regions.
Don’t expect many, if any, day one Nexus 7 LTE deals. While we did see Staples come out of the gate with a $30 off deal, it wasn’t Nexus 7 specific. The Nexus 7 isn’t a typical Android smartphone or gadget and likely won’t see deals emerge for a bit. Fact is, this is a popular device and it already has an extremely cheap price tag so we don’t expect big updates for any of the Nexus 7 models.
Making matters worse is that it’s unknown if the Nexus 7 LTE will be sold outside the Google Play Store. If it’s not, we don’t expect the $350 price to fluctuate at all. If it is, we expect it will only be available through a few retailers and even then, consumers should not expect a detail to emerge on release day.
Fortunately, $350 is a great price for a 32GB LTE Android tablet.
Easy Transition from iPad mini on Day One
Those who may be switching from an LTE iPad mini to an LTE Nexus 7 should not expect an easy transition on release date, thanks to the fact that the devices use two different SIM card standards.
The Nexus 7 works seamlessly across AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon while the iPad mini is unfortunately unlocked, but locked to specific carriers. This is a perk that might compel iPad mini owners to buy the Nexus 7. But those owners should not expect a flawless transition.
While the iPad mini uses a nano-SIM, the Nexus 7 uses a micro-SIM which means that Nexus 7 owners that were hoping the make the switch, will have to buy a new SIM card or an adapter.
Tons of Complaints
We have seen some Nexus 7 owners complaining about problems with the tablet, but, they have not been as widespread as the problems that plagued the original Nexus 7. We expect the build quality of the Nexus 7 LTE to be as good as the other devices, so don’t expect to hear a whole lot about issues with the new model.
Release day for the LTE model won’t be void of complaints, we’ll likely hear from more than a few new owners who are having issues, but it appears that Asus and Google have done a much better job with the supply line and the build quality than in years past.
A Sell Out
Google’s Nexus 7 remains widely available, something that we didn’t see from the original Nexus 7. How Google managed to do this is unconfirmed but it likely had to do with accurate predictions in regard to demand and the fact that Google took the pressure off the Google Play Store with a release on a number of retailers rather than just a few.
We expect the same smooth launch for the Nexus 7 LTE even if it isn’t available through a host of retailers. Google learned its lesson with the Nexus 4 and original Nexus 7 launches and we highly doubt that it won’t have enough Nexus 7 LTE stock available on launch day to satisfy its thousands of customers.