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Rumor: Google to Introduce $99 Nexus 7 by End of Year

In a new report out of DigiTimes, that Asus has already denied, the publication claims that Google and Asus are teaming up to create a new Nexus 7 tablet priced at $99. The device is said to be thinner and will use new display panels. There will reportedly be a second model as well, priced at $199. According to sources, Google wants to maintain growing sales, but knowing that Apple has an iPad Mini on the horizon, they feel that they need to do something drastic. 

So how about some thoughts? The first thing I would worry about is the tablet itself. Does a $99 tablet mean lousy display, less internal storage, and a weak processor? If so, then no thanks. If $99 means a thinner tablet with the exact same specs as the current Nexus 7, then yeah, let’s do it.

One thing we would like to see is an upgraded display. While the Nexus 7 has a good display, companies like Barnes and Noble and Amazon all launched new HD tablets that put the N7’s to shame. We’re all for affordable tech products, but at the same time, we still enjoy innovation and new technologies. Continuing to find ways to reduce price without introducing new features seems a bit backwards. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Thoughts on a $99 tablet? Great thing, good thing, or not-so-hot thing?

Via:  DigiTimes

  • socrfan

    “…Barnes and Noble and Amazon all launched new HD tablets that put the N7′s to shame.” I’ve seen their displays and in my opinion they do not put the Nexus display to shame at all.

  • MikeKorby

    Move the current N7 down to that price range, and introduce the N7.1 (we will call it version nutella just for the hell of it). Have the N7.1 feature a better screen and rear facing camera support, and bundle in a few extra “goodies” to entice the buyer.

  • Although i would love this, i fear there would be too much compromise on the hardware that would slow the tablet down. JB is fatastic, but no amount of butter can smooth out slow hardware. Make a 9 inch tablet and charge around 300 for it. Then i will buy the nexus brand!

  • jay_peter

    Google sure is going for the bargain bin market. A cheap product results in a cheap experience.

  • NEXUS 10” Damnit!!!!

    • socrfan

      Too big. That’s not the market they’re shooting for right now.

  • cb2000a


  • noc007

    At $99, Will it still be a 7″ tablet? At the price point, I expect it would be the Nexus 5 and there would be no point in that since we already have 5″ phones.

    Really would like them to put in a SD or MicroSD card slot and support 5GHz Wifi (802.11a/n)

  • SchwannyT

    A decent $99 tablet for kids (6 and 10) would really interest me. Especially if it could play some of the better games and edu-games without choking like the MIDS or have some resistive crap screen

  • chris125

    It can be great but if they cut a ton of corners it could really tarnish the brand if it’s another awful cheap android tablet. I hope google can keep some decent specs with this price but we will see.

  • LordStickMax

    no what they should do is a price drop and introduce a $250 32gb version

  • Cowbrains

    Whoa seriously? I was waiting to see if there as any good black Friday deals on a nexus 7 because I was going to get one for my girlfriend for Christmas but by the end of the year do they mean before Christmas?

  • $99 is not impossible. By the end of this year, the components of the current Nexus 7 will be considered “previous” generation, or near the end of its generation. Can it warranty a ~$50 drop? I am not sure, but will the cost be low enough for Google to absorb a little bit of loss from the hardware sales? Likely.

  • Daniel Clifford

    We keep saying we want better displays on our phones and tablets. Honestly, at the sizes they are, is there really a noticeable difference…cause I can’t see much difference.

  • RW-1

    I believe it to be to drive sales before they release the nexus 8 tablet, or to compete with Amazon’s Fire. In that vein though, my concern would be if they release it at $99 and it is ad driven as well …
    I’d still love to pick one up for my Daughter, who has been running a Dell Streak 7, the only major drawback to it right now is the display resolution …

  • Tim Buchanan

    If they want to increase sales, why the heck don’t they start selling this thing at Best Buy?

    • Lactose_the_Intolerant

      They sell things at Best Buy? I thought it was just an Amazon show room.

  • I could see Google doing this to keep the momentum the problem is will this just undercut other tablet manufacturers and make it were Google is the only one really competing or will the other android manufacturers answer with better hardware and comparable prices?

    I have to admit I do like the idea of a $99 tablet and will really consider purchasing one depending on what it has, although I would love to have a memory card slot of some sort.

  • humidity

    Personally I’d like to see a Nexus 9 or 10 for the holidays to compete with both the Kindle Fire 8.9 and Nook Kindle HD+. If they want to tweak/lower the price to the Nexus 7, fine, but they’re already competitive in the 7″ tablet market.

  • I don’t believe it, but maybe am android ereader for $99.

  • violator702

    I would rather them lower the prices on the current models, and make a new tablet with a better display and more internal storage.

    • socrfan

      Reports I read stated that the Nexus was being built at a low profit margin as it is so I don’t see a better spec at a lower price being something to hope for. At $250 I consider mine to be an excellent value as it is and way better than the Crapple iPad at any price.

  • MikeSaver

    I like my Nexus the way it is, its worth the $200. Nearly all of my friends have seen mine and are buying one for themselves and they all have iPhones. I think its fine as is.

  • moelsen8

    it’d be nice to have a few options, spanning the price (and feature) spectrum.. while not turning the bottom one into one of those craplets you can find on ebay.

    also think they need to do this with their phone line going forward too.

  • nightscout13

    Would be nice…. School’s can adapt them by the hundred’s at that price point.

  • I want to see a 10″ Nexus and I’ll get it on day 1. 7″ is too small, at that point i might as well just use a phone.

    • Kara

      Not that it matters, but progressively a 7″ tablet is almost exactly 50% larger than a samsung galexy nexus phone (spec 4.65″), and a 10″ tablet is almost exactly 50% larger than a 7″ tablet, so if the 50% bump from 7-10 is so noticeable, wouldn’t the same be said for the 50% bump from 4.65-7?

      • JoshGroff

        Definitely, I sure as heck notice the difference going between my G-Nex and N7. Although, to me, a 10″ tablet is too big to be portable (the main benefit to a tablet) and too small for serious media consumption, for that I prefer a 15″+ laptop.

  • greeknasty

    I just want a nexus with a proper fitted screen with no lifts.

    • JoshGroff

      I have one, first one I got too. Had to drive half an hour out of my way to get it week 1, but I love it.

  • Josh Flowers

    Having a GNEX now, there’s not really a point (As i seee it) to purchase a Nexus 7 for myself.
    However, if the pricepoint were in fact $99 (sacrifice NFC), then i’d be really battling myself not to buy one. Really curious how they’ll manage to get the price that low & what that means it’s sacrificing.

    • JoshGroff

      Probably no front facing camera/mic/NFC. Internal storage would maybe be 8GB like the current low end N7.

  • Joe Paul

    I would buy a $99 tablet with less memory if it had an SD slot.

  • jak_341

    No thanks. Google needs to give up the low end and focus on premium devices. The low end junk is ruining the Android brand.

    • Cowboydroid

      There is nothing low end about the nexus 7.

      • brewersfan73

        I think jak_341 was referring to the existing $80-$120 tablets out there like the Coby, Pandigital, etc. that don’t give the user a good Android experience, thereby tarnishing the Android name in general. The Nexus 7 is a small, premium device at a great price.

  • Raven

    Rather than an even cheaper version, I would rather see a premium version with 32GB, a rear camera (for barcode reading and showing someone something on a video chat), hdmi out, and maybe even a MicroSD slot if Google would actually allow it.

    • n00b

      You can barcode read with the front facing camera.

      • Brandon White

        Barcode apps don’t work with front facing cameras.

        • n00b

          Really now?

          Barcode Scanner by ZXing Team – works for me.

          • Brandon White

            Wow I didn’t realize they came out with a fix for that. Tested it about a month ago with the Nexus 7 for an app I developed and the play store didn’t allow the app to be downloaded. Thanks for the heads up!

      • Raven

        Yes, but it is a bit of a pain. Especially when I am trying to sell someone on the merits of the tablet over others and barcode reading is one of their must-have features.

  • FutureFuzz

    I’ve wanted one since launch as well but couldn’t talk myself in to the purchase with two touchpads at home. 99$ I’ll buy one for sure.

  • If they do release a $99 Nexus 7, I’ll gladly pay up to $250 for one with the same screen the Nook HD is packing.

  • Paul

    I doubt Google is going to make a nexus tablet with lousy hardware – they’ll probably just bank on app sales. Maybe instead of the terga3 it will have a S4 in it, if that’s cheaper for them, but I doubt it will be slow.

  • Pointless if you ask me. $99? Just give them away at that point if they are that cheap to make.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      The Nexus 7 is nice… but we all saw the issues with a cheap tablet starting with the washed out screen… and screen moving issue (though the screen moving issue got fixed on my replacement) . . . I can’t see a 99$ tablet being a well made tablet

  • mustbepbs

    Even with a better display on the Nook HD or Kindle HD, the Nexus 7 still wins. It’s a Nexus tablet, it wins in the software department by being guaranteed software updates when they are available. Compare that with the already outdated software of Nook/Kindle being on ICS.

    When future Android versions are released with awesome new features and performance upgrades, I know that I’ll be glad I purchased a Nexus instead of a bastardized version of Android on a Kindle or Nook, regardless of their “better specs”.

    • Tanuj

      i dont think amazon and b&n are trying to sell a better tablet overall, they’re trying to sell their media ecosystem in order for you to enjoy content like movies music and video while forgetting about the device itself. Content wise Google Play is losing but on the actual hardware/software front the Nexus 7 kills it. But most regular people just care about their media and not ROMs or software updates and what not. If you get what I mean.

      • mustbepbs

        I don’t get the content part. The only real thing GP is missing is books and TV/Movies. But with services like Netflix and Amazon Instant available on devices like Roku, why do you need them on a tiny screen? How many people watch movies/TV regularly on a tablet? I don’t know anyone personally, but that’s just my small sample.

        Apps-wise GP is crushing the others (besides iOS). That’s important content for tablets. Without good apps, what do you have?

  • gamble2gain

    I find this hard to believe. $99 sounds more like Archos instead Asus. Once upon a time I purchased an Archos 101 & that didn’t end well.

    • I remember when the Archos 101 came out. I was waiting for it and it kept getting delayed. Then I said the heck with it and went and got a GTablet instead for a little bit more… and so glad I did. I just loaded smooth-running Jelly Bean on it and its still kickin…

      So glad I skipped on the 101.

  • Well unless they improve QC on the production line, count me out. I’m on the second Nexus 7 16GB for my grandson in less than a week and it’s going back today. First lasted two days and started to shut off at random times. it wouldn’t even finish booting most times when I took it back.

    Exchanged for a new one, re-installed all his apps and he started playing Angry Birds. Father told him to turn it down… volume buttons don’t work. You can adjust volume in settings but the buttons don’t work.

    The guy at Staples said more than half the Nexus 7s they had have been returned with major problems.

    Total POC. Will exchange today for a 7″ Tab 2

    • mustbepbs

      Good luck with the Tab 2 😛

    • Raven

      Sorry about your luck. I ordered one from Google the day they went on sale and I have not had a single build quality issue with mine. I wonder if somehow Staples got a bad batch.

  • mike b

    I think the $99 number is coming from a subsidized radio tablet (ie 3g or 4g tab). Buy the tab at VZW with data or something and get it for 99. That or it will be an ad supported device. Either way that tab would not be for me. I just dont see them completely Fing the specs to get it to $99. They still have to protect their brand and they dont want to muddy the waters with inferior products.

    • florious80

      If it is subsidized, I would not pick it up even it is for 99 since the cost would be more over the life of the contract and the extra data cost (with Verizon cap) won’t be worth it. Ad version? That I may consider, if the tab is spec-ed right.

      • Paul

        Isn’t it only $10 a month for a tablet with verizon’s new plans? That’s not too horrible if you would actually use the 4G every now and then.

        • florious80

          I only see a 4GB plan for $30 as the minimum….at least for Xyboard. For an iPad, it’s $10 access + $30 for 4 GB….

          • Paul

            Well, I meant if you already have a data plan with them for your phone.

        • evltwn

          Until you go over your data limit. Then it’s $15 for every GB you go over.

          • Paul

            True, but it’s the same if you used tethering from your phone (minus the initial $10 charge).

        • JoshGroff

          it’s still more than my current N7 which I just hotspot my phone for data. Although, $240 of data access charges isn’t horrible though if you get it for someone on your plan that has a basic/feature phone.

          • Paul

            I’m not a tablet person, but some people do like to bring them around on 4G. Though if the screen is nice enough, I could end up considering mounting this in my car as a carputer…

  • Guest

    I believe absolutely nothing that comes from BGR or DigiTimes.

    • Ching Chong

      They reported earlier today that you have a large dong.

  • florious80

    This has got to be a false rumor. I would love it to come true, but if Nex7 is already at the lowest price possible, what kind of a tablet can they create at that price point without it being just horribly slow/sluggish/lack of features?? a 3″ tablet? a single core processor? no cameras?….

    But if they make one that is of decent spec, I’d pick up a couple for my family for Christmas. (two for myself in case one fails) =)

    • JoshGroff

      I doubt if they dropped the processor down that they would put in a single core. It’d be a dual at the very least.

  • A $99 tablet would be too stripped down to be worth it. You would probably get a 720p screen, no cameras, a 1GHz single-core, 512MB RAM, etc.

  • EMcTx

    They really need to have an hdmi connector. It would set the tablet apart from any ipads, one reason I bought a cheap android tablet last year was so I could hook it up to a tv.

    • michael interbartolo

      why not just get a Googletv like the Vizio Co-Star for $99? I can watch movies and tv shows from the Play store. find media from netflix, hbo, crackle and more from the unified search instead of checking each service individually for a title. plus Chrome for lean back browsing of the web.

  • Last Christmas I made the jump and tried the $99 price point with an Android tablet. It was a disaster! However, if Google does it, I would trust it. I say go for it Google! And announce it soon, so I know if I need a $249 tablet or not.

  • Miles H

    My N7 is already out-dated … *Sigh*

    • mustbepbs

      By what?

      • Why, a rumor, obviously!

      • Paul

        I think he’s guessing the new $200 one will be better, at least its display. It would be possible.

  • XvierX

    They should probably focus a little attention on releasing at least ONE new Nexus 7 tablet accessory before the end of the year. Aside from the charger & case sold via Google Play, of course.

  • same specs and I’m sold!

  • motcher41

    havent bought one yet so I am hoping this turns out to be a real deal. same specs would be fine by me but better specs….even better lol

  • I’ve wanted an N7 since launch but just can’t justify the purchase as I have trouble seeing how a tablet fits into my daily life (i.e. being a large phone with only wifi access). That said, at $99, I would finally say what the heck!

    • HP touchpad.

    • Roshan John

      Dude just go and get the damn N7. I always thought of it as an accessory… but it turns into something that becomes very much so a part of your mobile life. And at the 7″ form factor, you can hold it in one hand, making it ultra-portable. Honestly, I only use my laptop to write papers, or develop photos. Almost everything else is tablet oriented these days.

  • Shannon Hoff

    I just hope that we see a 10″ nexus tablet. I want google to take my money, if they would just make it.

    • RedPandaAlex

      I had been thinking the same thing, but seeing what Amazon and B&N are putting out changed my mind–Now I want a 9-inch device with a 1080p screen. I want a big bump in size over my phone, but my Xoom is just a bit too unwieldy.

      • Lactose_the_Intolerant

        I love my wifi Xoom with a passion that borders on obsession but yeah, I’m thinking it’s time to start looking at a smaller device for ease of transportation.

        • michael arazan

          I want a nexus like a xoom, with ports and expandable memory, around 10″ and some type of keyboard stock or third party. I’m stiil deciding between a xoom, an N7, or a new kindle for my parents. They watch a lot of vids on the net so I need it to have ICS cause i don’t know if Flash works on an N7 with JB or a way to put it on. Saving up for one of these, wish i could make a poll in this disqus column.

  • Neil Phillips

    Why on earth would they use Asus for such a tablet, instead of Motorola….. which they own?

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      They have OEMS that they don’t want to piss off… that’s why. Google can’t do Android on their own.

      • I think Apple’s shown that it is possible, but I don’t think Google wants to make that leap yet.

    • During the R&D stages they were still going through the purchasing process. It’s not that hard of a concept. I understand what you are saying though.