According to sources speaking with Reuters, Google plans to launch its next-generation 7-inch tablet this July and it could get even more aggressive on pricing. Based on current information, the search giant could be targeting an aggressive $149 starting rate, which would increase the pressure on Amazon and other small tablet makers, especially if the second Nexus 7 is as well rated as the first.
Although it's possible that a second-generation Nexus 7 with only Wi-Fi, a low storage capacity and other lesser features will kick off for $149, Google's plans are said to be "fluid" and nothing is set in stone. It's just as likely -- if not more so -- that the company will ship its newest offering for the same rate as last year's model, which could in turn be used to attack the sub-$150 or sub-$99 market.
The Reuters report notes that Google wants to push as many tablets as possible, even if it means making little or no money on initial hardware sales. The goal is to earn cash off you after the fact -- mostly via advertising. It's similar to Amazon's approach with its Kindle devices, which also recently received a price cut. Google reportedly wants to move eight million tablets in the second half of the year.
As with the previous iteration, Asus will manufacture the co-branded slate. Few hardware details are available at the moment, though the sources claim that Google has dropped Nvidia's Tegra series. The current Nexus 7 is equipped with a Tegra 3 SoC and it was previously assumed that the next variant would ship with a Tegra 4, but Google reportedly opted for a Qualcomm part over power concerns.
Unsurprisingly, you can expect an updated display with an increased resolution from the 1280x800 (216ppi) IPS panel in today's Nexus 7. There's also word of a thinner bezel design, but that's about it for rumored specifications. That said, we wouldn't be surprised to see microSD or some other form of expandable storage added considering that was one of the biggest complaints about the first Nexus 7.