updated 07:17 am EDT, Mon September 3, 2012
Asus rumored prepping a 3G variant of the Google Nexus 7
Google's Nexus 7 manufacturing partner Asus is said to be prepping a 3G variant of the currently Wi-Fi-only device. The report comes courtesy of MoDaCo, which claims to have received the information from a "very well placed insider." The launch is expected in "around six weeks," with hardware remaining essentially unchanged barring the addition of the 3G radio - a GPS module is already included in the current model.
Although Google has not revealed any official sales figures for its 7-inch Tegra 3-powered 'Jelly Bean' tablet, the device has seen reportedly high retail sales as well as evidence that the 16GB variant sold out online not long after its launch. However, it is now known how many of the tablets Asus and Google had ready for its staggered global roll-out. As a point of comparison, the Amazon Kindle Fire which is its nearest competitor sold up to 5 million units in its initial run before sales fell off a cliff.
However, while the Kindle Fire was the first sharply priced 7-inch tablet on the market, and the first to make any kind of impact on Apple's share of the tablet market with the iPad, it carries a heavily modified version of Android 2.3 'Gingerbread,' skewed towards Amazon's content. Although the Kindle Fire is rumored for a refresh in the near future, the Nexus 7 carries the advantage of running the 'Pure Google' Android experience.