updated 09:35 am EDT, Thu September 27, 2012
Budget tablet a preemptive strike on iPad Mini
Rumors suggest Google is going to launch a $99 Nexus 7 by the end of this year. According to industry sources of DigiTimes, both Google and Asus will make two new versions of the tablet, both of which will be thinner and use TN panels from HannStar Display in Taiwan. The rumor also suggest HannStar has entered the supply chain for the iPad, although this has yet to be confirmed.
If Google is to make a Nexus 7 at $99, it will have to perform some combination of subsidizing the cost and lowering the specifications of the device. Although the display will most likely remain at 7-inches, it may not be at the 1280x800 resolution currently offered. The 1GB of RAM, quad-core Tegra 3 processor, and 10 hours of battery life may all see some reductions in order to hit that pricepoint.
The rumor's source suggests that the $99 Nexus 7 would be a countermeasure against the continually rumored iPad Mini, which if it exists, is expected to launch before the end of 2012.