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Nexus 7 Visits Bluetooth SIG Again With Android 4.3, the Question is Why?

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Rumors were swirling before Google I/O this year that we would see a refreshed Nexus 7, complete with new specs and features to “wow” us. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but the rumors of the Nexus 7 refresh have not gone away. The rumors keep alive and this weekend’s news that the Nexus 7 got re-certified for Bluetooth is interesting to say the least. Why would it need to pass through Bluetooth SIG again?  

The new build of Android that was running on the device was JWR11. Could this be Android 4.3? It certainly seems like it is Android 4.3 knowing that a white Nexus 4 spotted last week at a trade show was running 4.3 as build JWR45B. The “J” in JWR11 means Jelly Bean and is older than the build running on the N4, so we know it’s not Key Lime Pie or something never-before-seen. But is this reason enough to pass through Bluetooth SIG for a second time? Hardly. If you are thinking that Bluetooth LE support, which is supposed to be included in 4.3, required that, you are fooling yourself. Think about it for a second – if Bluetooth LE support requires re-certifying, that would mean that every Android device who upgrades to 4.3 would need to be re-certified. That’s not happening.

But where things really get confusing, is over the idea that the model number listed here is ME370T, which is the same as the current Nexus 7. We’re seeing sites suggest that the device is hitting Bluetooth SIG again because it’s the mysterious new Nexus 7, however, explain to me how that makes any sense. That would mean that Asus is releasing a new Nexus 7 with the same exact model number as the old model. Who does that? Motorola doesn’t. Samsung doesn’t. HTC doesn’t. LG doesn’t. All follow-up devices typically follow in a sequence of numbers, but never have I seen them ship with the same exact model number. If anything, it’s a minor hardware revision, right? Unless Asus does model numbering completely different than the rest of the industry, this one baffles me.

So why stop off at Bluetooth SIG again? We don’t know the answer to that. But I think that we would all be jumping to wild conclusions by suggesting that this is some sign of a new Nexus.

Update:  As reader Christian points out in the comments, Asus also pushed the Nexus 7 through Bluetooth SIG in May 2012 (initial launch) and again in November of 2012 (Android 4.2 launch). This filing is likely nothing more than a sign that either a minor hardware revision is coming or that they are showing Bluetooth SIG that there are changes in Android 4.3 coming because there may be new functionality to Bluetooth components.

Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 6.35.29 PM

Via:  Bluetooth

  • Jonathan Williams

    For great justice, take off every SIG!!!

  • Kagnon

    I think they are just adding the low energy profile.

  • Manohar Singh Aakeli’B’

    Now I think I’ve got to learn something like this in the future. Thanks For all the help. Bollywood saree

  • Manohar Singh Aakeli’B’

    Excellent and decent post. I found this much informative, as to what I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Bollywood saree

  • XvierX

    A thinner and lighter version would be welcomed but I hope the 1st gen dock will still be compatible. I gave my friend my N7 so I’m buying whatever it is Asus & Google release next but I hope it’s not so different that I’ll have to wait for another dock release. Who am I kidding? I’ll be picking up another overpriced dock either way.

  • Jon Lambert

    Anyone notice that this was tested against the 3.0 specification? Looks like no Bluetooth 4.0 for the Nexus 7.

    • mx

      I just hope 4.3 includes support for BT4.0 so that other devices like the Nexus 4 can start using it.

      • Todd

        I just hope they actually *fix* bluetooth — It really is broken on every Nexus/Tegra device. Just start up Google Play Music, streaming your music over WiFi simultaneously listening to the music on a bluetooth headset. You’ll be lucky to get 3 minutes in before stuttering, then a shutoff of audio with a “Can’t play stream” message. It does work better while the music is cached on device, but you can get disconnects still while trying to surf in the browser. So, it would be nice to actually have it work as it should.

  • thenew3

    Word from inside source, Asus working on new nexus 7 with Google, thinner, lighter, faster snapdragon processor, higher def display, hspa and lte radios builtin. Got to play with an early build unit a couple of weeks ago.

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      That rumor’s been around for months now.

    • justin

      Thank you for month(s) old info. Helped a lot.

      • Mark2134

        Lulz

    • Simon Belmont

      In other news, Samsung is releasing a Nexus phone, but we aren’t sure if it’ll be called Nexus Prime or Galaxy Nexus, or what.

      It’s said to ship with Android 4.0. This will reportedly be called “Ice Cream Sandwich.”

  • Christian

    “Members are required to select this option within the TPG when making PICS changes to existing qualified designs (QDLs) and to upload a new Test Declaration Upload (TDU) within a new QDL. A new assessment date will be assigned to the enhanced design, which pertains to the entire design. This is in particular important when adding new functionality to components, since the new assessment date determines the start of a new 3 year lifetime for the entire component.”

    Basically, it seems like when there is an addition of “new functionality to components” (in the case of Android 4.3 this will most likely be AVRCP and some other new background Bluetooth processes) the producer of the product is required to create a “new [qualified design listing]” which is what we’re looking at here. The hardware revision is the same as the one that has always been listed for the Nexus 7 in the Bluetooth SIG.

    Based on this, I would surmise this is the same Nexus 7 that we’ve always had, and that Asus is going through the proper steps to show to the Bluetooth SIG, as required, that their device is soon going to have new Bluetooth functionalities.

    P.S. It also seems like when a company submits a new QDL for an updated featureset, their certification is renewed for another 3 years.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      This, right here.

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    • Justin Winker

      I applaud your research… Good work :)

    • Christian

      Haha thanks guys and thanks to Eric for including this in the article! :) Asus’ dedication to following rules and deadlines with their products makes me wish they would get into the smartphone market more :P

    • r0lct

      Which blog do you write for? :P

    • D4niel

      Yup. AVRCP 1.3 is being supported in API version 18. Source: https://plus.google.com/116110604589325140832/posts/bmqALtLu5oj

  • http://profiles.google.com/bmg1001 Bryan Guerrero

    Maybe the new one comes as a hardware revision update?

  • 4n1m4L

    Hw version 2.1 ?

  • Trent Russell

    I imagine a large enough change in BT frequency bands or receiver/emitter power would require recertification, things that can be done in driver/software alone.

  • 4n1m4L

    Quick folks! Look over here! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

    • Justin Winker

      Why?

      • 4n1m4L

        Eh nevemind. I’m looking closely at the hardware version now.

        • Justin Winker

          Lol, I’m genuinely confused now.