$129-149 Nexus 7 may show up next quarter

Seven-inch tablets are getting cheaper by the day. In September, Amazon introduced a new Kindle Fire tablet with an asking price of just $159. Now, DigiTimes reports that Google and Asus may soon one-up Amazon, releasing a version of their famous Nexus 7 slate priced as low as $129—and possibly even lower.

Quoting unnamed industry sources, the site says Google and Asus have added a new supplier for the Nexus 7’s touch panel. That supplier’s panel technology is supposed to help reduce costs and allow for a thinner device. Word is that the cheaper Nexus 7 based on that technology could be priced as low as $99, although "market observers" reckon a price tag in the $129-149 range is "most likely." Asus and Google can only cut costs so much.

The cheaper Nexus 7 is expected as early as the first quarter of 2013. However, since the first quarter is often the year’s low point for sales, DigiTimes says Google may choose to hold off until Q2.

Right now, the cheapest Nexus 7 still costs $199. Google has already taken steps to keep up with Amazon and the iPad mini, of course. In October, Google scrapped the 8GB version of the tablet, brought the 16GB model down from $249 to $199, and introduced a higher-capacity, 32GB variant at $249.

Comments closed
    • ostiguy
    • 7 years ago

    I am not a happy camper with my wifi only Nexus 7:

    GPS – GPS locking seems to take a long time, and only work outdoors. GPS occasionally is profoundly wrong when using offline, cached Google Maps – google maps says you are here with 53 meters precision, but I know I am 300-700 meters off where it says I am. At other times, it is correct. I wish it made some sense to me

    Google Maps – something happened that invalidated my cached offline maps while in Hong Kong. I happened to be out and about without my travel guide, and was without a map for an evening as a result.

    I bought the tablet to be a ebook reader and GPS for a business trip, and the GPS functionality is really underwhelming.

      • OU812
      • 7 years ago

      Our two Nexus 7’s lock GPS within seconds even indoors (including a casino) and is accurate to 20 feet as verified with a GPS test app and Google Maps (online or offline).

      Maybe your tablet has a physical problem and should be returned for repair or replacement.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      You should get a GPS signal app to see if you get any kind of decent signal when you’re having problems. Or if all else fails, a paper map 🙂 that way you can be retro and hip!

      • Laykun
      • 7 years ago

      When you say inside do you mean inside a single story building or inside a multistory building. GPS signals do not work very well when there is multiple stories of building above your head.

      I’m not 100% on this but I’m pretty sure GPS signals have troubles when you’re using them around large buildings (signal reflection). As I understand it Hong Kong is a veritable metropolis with lots of very tall buildings.

      Here in New Zealand where 99% of housing is single story and there aren’t many tall buildings to speak of the GPS works fine. I have noticed at work however, no matter what device, GPS locks and accuracy inside can go wildly inaccurate, and that’s only in a two story building (one bottom floor).

        • Metonymy
        • 7 years ago

        I have a Nexus 7 with ATT, but even using the GPS app I notice that at work (I’m on the floor below the attic and it’s cheap construction) the GPS reports 10 satellites with usable signals. At home, I’m on the 14th of an old, solid, 15 story apartment building and the GPS can find nothing.

        This is sort of unrelated, but I think the Nexus 7 with HSPA+ is terrific. It’s not as fast as LTE, but for only a $50 premium over the identical, but wifi-only, version, it’s great.

    • UberGerbil
    • 7 years ago

    Is the low-end Nexus 7 (whatever it may be — 8GB before, 16GB now) [i<][b<]ever[/b<][/i<] in stock? It seems like they're available to the people who order the day it's announced, and it becomes a Potemkin model thereafter. That may make some sense in terms of forcing a lot of customers on an up-sell (and that extra $50 for a few additional GB of NAND has to be the major factor in keeping the line profitable), but I have to say it leaves me on the sidelines. Well, that and the relentless introduction of new models. I would've already bought a 16GB model if they were available, but now I think I'll just wait for this next one (at which point they'll probably have announced another one, lather-rinse-repeat)

      • paulWTAMU
      • 7 years ago

      I gave up on getting one too-part of why I got the laptop I got.

      • OU812
      • 7 years ago

      Yes

        • UberGerbil
        • 7 years ago

        Care to elaborate? Like telling me where? Because NewEgg and Amazon and Frys seem to be perpetually out of stock, and I’ve even checked Staples and the like from time to time. (Btw, “Ebay” is not an answer)

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          Ebay.

          ruh-roh, statement disproven!

    • Alexko
    • 7 years ago

    OK, we’re getting close to a point where I might actually care about tablets.

    • TEAMSWITCHER
    • 7 years ago

    Does anybody know how the iPad mini is selling when compared to the Nexus 7 right now? I have a sneaky suspicion that the iPad mini is selling far better than anyone thought it would.

      • Metonymy
      • 7 years ago

      I suspect you’re right (though this is a completely information-free opinion). I looked at the mini in November in an Apple store and I thought it looked great. I think perhaps my eyes just aren’t good enough to be appropriately appalled by the resolution.

      Having said that, I got a Nexus 7 with ATT, and I’m delighted with it. Jelly Bean makes Android seem so much more professional and I think the screen is lovely. And finding the hackers keyboard app so I can easily (with connectbot) deal with linux/unix command shell stuff tipped the scales.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Nexus 7 sells about 1 million per month, as stated by either Google or Asus – I can’t remember which.

      There’s no clear statement about iPad Mini numbers, but estimates are around 3-4 million per month.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    £100 (~$150) is about the sort of price a tablet needs to be to become a commodity.

    Considering their limitations, the median price of £300 ($400+) puts them into luxury item territory for the most part, since it’s quite hard to actually live with a tablet [i<]instead[/i<] of a PC. They are best used to [i<]compliment[/i<], rather than [i<]replace[/i<], a full x86 PC, especially for those that already have a smartphone. At this price, a tablet starts to be worth having even if there's only a couple of apps you specifically want a tablet for.

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      The thing is, there seems to have been quite a few people for whom a PC was rather hard to live with, and they only had one because it was the only way they could get a larger-screened internet device. They’re not doing the kind of work that needs a keyboard and mouse, and a phone would suit their needs for most things if it had a larger screen (but then it wouldn’t be pocketable).

      Heck, I’m seeing a fair number of people at coffee shops with iPads + physical keyboards, and it seems like that must fit their needs and budget better than an actual laptop (which makes some sense: in the $500-$600 range, an iPad+keyboard is more responsive than a netbook and mostly cheaper/lighter and better battery life than an ultrabook)

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        If by needs, you mean need for attention and looking cool, I think you’ve got it right!

          • willmore
          • 7 years ago

          Or “I’ve sunk $600 into this thing and all it’s good for is playing Angry Birds, I had better find a way to justify that expense, let’s see…”

    • jessterman21
    • 7 years ago

    Got a little Christmas bonus from work this week, and I was planning on getting a Nexus 7 as soon as the $199 16GB version is back in stock. But this makes me definitely consider holding off til the new one is out – that’s a heck of a price drop. Hope it hits Q1!

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    If Nexus 7 hits $99.99 and it’s not cut down in some horrible way, I think we’ll see the Windows PC vs Mac Effect begin all over again, but this time it’ll be iOS that suffers. At $99.99, they will sell a tablet to everyone not already “in” with iOS devices. That is, everyone who thinks $330 for a 8 inch, 400 for a 2 year old tablet, and 500 for a 9.7″ tablet is NOT cheap.

    That’s… a lot of people. If Google gets the cheapseats all using Android, Apple’ll have their high margins (like always) while they also become highly niche. A lot of Apple’s success with iOS has come from them being the biggest App Store/Media store in town. If Android suddenly has bajillions of customers, even if they buy less, they’ll still buy more in total than the few 1%’ers still buying expensive Apple devices.

    Apple needs to remember why they knocked the iPod Touch down to $200 (and the iPhone 3GS to $100, then to free) in the first place and start making the same kind of cuts to their iPad line. They did that to bring in the bulk of everyone who couldn’t afford (or refused to buy) an iPhone (plus data phone plan), to widen the audience base and build up loyalty through app/content ownership for fear of loss of investment. But owning Angry Birds on your iPod Touch is only going to keep users away from Android for so long before they start looking at paying $100-$130 for a Nexus 7 vs an iPad Mini for $330 and they think, “Well, I could afford to buy all my old software and still have enough to buy a Shuffle for the difference between these two things.”

    And then Apple’s lost. Apple really needs to decide if it wants to be a huge content seller that also sells devices or a purveyor of devices who also sells some content. There’s more money to be made in content distribution, but the safer, easier course is to keep trying to hock high end devices that cost considerably less than they are charging. I think one road is a road to huge profits while the other is a slow descent into irrelevance.

    Apple wants to straddle the line, but that’ll work only as long as Google continues to let the price parity or even the “Eh, it’s about a $100 diff” argument hold water. But what happens when the total cost of an Android tablet is MSRP less than the difference between the Google tablet and the Apple tablet?

    $100 vs $330. Even $100 vs $230. That’s just a huge, huge gap and you know that even if Google doesn’t hit $99.99 (sub $100 is magic) this year, they will next year. Is Apple going to start making the cuts to the iPad that Jobs pushed for with the iPod, iPod Touch and iPhone lines?

    Do they have the will?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Under Jobs they wouldn’t have. Under Cook, maybe.

      But it’s classic Apple either way. (I’ve written this before so I’ll try to be brief..) Make some great products and develop a market, get a head start and first mover advantage, but then slowly bleed off share and business as others come into the market until eventually you’re a sub-10% niche. I don’t think Apple will get that small in the mobile device market unless we’re talking 10+ years because it will take a long time, but they need to make something new, not iterate the iPhone/iTouch.

        • windwalker
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, that’s exactly what happened in the iPod market.
        Right?

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        If you look back 100 years, Motorola had this same strategy. It worked great until the cell phone came alone and they didn’t inovate fast enough. Dump money into research, develop amazing new device, suck market dry with high margins, bail out before it becomes a battle of who can make it cheaper, and move on to the next thing.

          • albundy
          • 7 years ago

          what have they moved on to?

            • BiffStroganoffsky
            • 7 years ago

            After 100 years, retirement in the Caymans!

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            They stalled when it came to cell phones and now they’re broken into bits and sold to whomever wants them. I think that underscores the lesson.

        • BabelHuber
        • 7 years ago

        I doubt it will take 10 years. This can happen pretty rapidly:

        In the past, Apple had the luxury of being a premium supplier, but due to their high market share, they also could produce with low costs (=economies of scale).

        When you can produce your stuff cheaper than the competition and sell at higher price at the same time, you are in a luxurious position. Only few companies can have both.

        This means that in their best days, Apple had 70% of all smartphone profits!

        But now Samsung already has much higher sales. Also, Chinese companies like Huawei are chasing Apple (Huawei sold 16 million smartphones compared to 25 million iPhone sales in Q3 2012).

        So I expect Apple to lose the number 2-spot during 2013. From there on, it will get downhill for them.

        How fast it will get downhill depends on the image of Apple: If customers still see them as THE premium brand, it will go down slowly.

        As soon as they lose their premium image, it will get down much faster.

        In the mobile business, all companies involved must be aware of the ‘cliff’. This is the point from which sales collapse. This happened to Siemens, to Motorola, to Palm and to Nokia.

        One failed line of products can be enough to fall from the cliff, so no company should get too arrogant in this business.

      • End User
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]If Android suddenly has bajillions of customers, even if they buy less, they'll still buy more in total than the few 1%'ers still buying expensive Apple devices.[/quote<] Android already has bajillions of customers. Apple is still making tons of money. I hate to break it to you but Apple stores are packed with the 99% and the 1%. Apple will not get into a price fight with tablets such as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 which are being sold at either break-even or at a loss. Amazon can't even generate a profit!

      • DPete27
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, I’m not going to get my hopes up too much though. The Nexus 7 is great, especially for $200, but a $150 version is likely to have some sort of cut-down hardware config to make the price point. I don’t think they just found a panel supplier that will sell them panels for $50 less than they’re paying now since the current display and touchscreen [url=http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/pages/Low-End-Google-Nexus-7-Carries-$157-BOM-Teardown-Reveals.aspx<]only costs about $62.[/url<]

        • bthylafh
        • 7 years ago

        My dollar is on this cheapie device having either a TN screen or a resistive touchscreen, or both.

      • deathBOB
      • 7 years ago

      I think selling hardware is much, much more profitable than distributing content. That’s okay for Google because they make money off of your information and advertising. I don’t see Apple changing course.

        • moog
        • 7 years ago

        Margins from selling your info and ads is also relatively poor as compared to the old fashioned way of licensing software. And margins have been eroding as Google is forced to shift from desktop to mobile.

      • windwalker
      • 7 years ago

      LOL, this cracks me up.
      How many more decades are you going to hold your breath waiting for cheap Apple stuff?

      It’s not going to happen because they still aren’t stupid enough to do that.
      They make their products better and sell them at a profit to afford to keep making them better.

      Profits are the costs of the future. No profit means no future.
      Look at HP, Dell, HTC for illustration.

      On the other side companies that make double margins compared to Apple (Intel, nVidia) are healthy and able to improve their products.
      And because their marketing involves fancy, technical, smart and complicated sounding words, geeks love them and don’t complain about being overcharged.

      Content distribution margins are laughably small, even smaller than hardware OEM margins and the distributors have zero leverage to change that.

      I’m sure Tim Cook can’t sleep at night thinking of all the cheapskates, hackers and pirates that choose Android over iOS and all the money Apple won’t be losing from all the stuff those lovely customers won’t be buying.

        • Spunjji
        • 7 years ago

        You were making a decent amount of sense until paragraph 4. You’ll find a lot of geeks complaining about Intel overcharging them; though granted not as many as you’ll find eating up nVidia’s marketing bullshit word-for-word.

        Conflating purchasers of cheap Android devices as automatically being cheapskates and hackers is daft, though. Broad brush = inaccurate strokes.

      • ltcommander.data
      • 7 years ago

      Apple’s pricing strategy has been pretty consistent. When the iPad Mini 2 comes out the 16GB iPad Mini 1 will likely stay for another year and drop $100 to $229. I don’t see Apple wanting to push further into a race to the bottom, but $229 for an entry iPad should be popular and sustainable.

    • nico1982
    • 7 years ago

    Cool, I just upgraded to a 32 GB N7 – mass effect vibe – for 249 euro 😀

    Anyway, a $100 price cut seems a bit too step of a reduction if the biggest change is just the panel. A few weeks ago, there were rumors about Asus looking at cheaper SOCs to employ in sub USD 150 tablets, so this might add up to that.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      “I’m Commander Shepherd and this is my favorite tablet on the Citadel.”

      “I’m Commander Shepherd and this is my favorite eStore on the Citadel.”

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    As long as it doesn’t mean the display is worse, either in viewing because of the nice touch+panel bonding Asus does, or the touch interaction itself, sounds good to me.

    • kvndoom
    • 7 years ago

    $129 is nice impulse territory. What I’d rather see is BB10 be a hit and bring my Playbook some more love, but I’d still be happy with some Android on the side.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Who doesn’t want a little Android on the side? I’ll take Pris.

        • swiffer
        • 7 years ago

        She’s only a Nexus-6

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          But dedicated hardware/software and not a general purpose model.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            Also, not an android.

        • kvndoom
        • 7 years ago

        Yes, yes, and yes.

        …and yes.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      BB10 is going to fail. I wouldn’t pin any hopes to it in any way. Sorry.

      You’ll be better served getting out now and buying into Android if you’re not wanting to go into iOS.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        Agreed. RIM has been a sinking ship for so long now that I don’t know how they still exist as a company.

        Less than three years ago we were an all-blackberry company. It’s quite staggering how much fail there has been in just this short time, and it’s even crazier how they still don’t have a decent smartphone or tablet.

    • brute
    • 7 years ago

    this is the first ive heard of this

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