The second-generation Nexus 7, released in 2013, is one of the most popular Android tablets of all time. Built by Asus, the 7-inch tablet was reasonably powerful at the time, and, perhaps most importantly, its $230 launch price made it very affordable.
A new rumor from known leaker Evan Blass suggests that a successor to the Nexus 7 may be on its way. This new 7-inch Google tablet will be built by Huawei, who also co-designed the 5.7-inch Nexus 6P smartphone, and will launch with 4 GB of RAM. Blass says the tablet is "on track for release before the end of the year".
News of a new 7-inch tablet from Huawei fits with a trademark that was filed back in April for a "Huawei 7P". Google's Nexus products haven't historically included the manufacturer in the product name – it's simply the "Nexus 6P", not the Huawei Nexus 6P – but the trademark has perhaps given an indication of what Huawei has been working on throughout this year.
Google's Huawei-built 7-inch tablet, with 4GB RAM, on track for release before the end of the year.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 5, 2016
Of course it's unlikely that any successor to the Nexus 7 would actually be branded as 'Nexus'. Google is reportedly phasing out the Nexus brand in favor of 'Pixel' for their upcoming HTC-made smartphones, due to changes in the software experience that will make these phones more than just stock Android showcases. We expect a similar branding choice for this Huawei-made 7-inch tablet.
Since the popular second-gen Nexus 7 was launched more than three years ago, Google's tablet line-up has been somewhat uninspiring. The Nexus 9 was a powerful piece of hardware, but quickly fell out of love with consumers, while the Pixel C's keyboard dock (the main selling point) didn't work well with Android at the time. Huawei tends to make respectable Android hardware, so this upcoming tablet could be a return to form for Google.