An Intel-powered Nexus 8 made by Asus is rumored to be launched later this year, sign that Google might be ready to leave the 7″ tablet market behind.
Google’s 7-inch Nexus tablets are reportedly not selling that well, mainly due to the low priced devices made by competitors. Objectively speaking, no one offers a quality-price ratio that matches Google’s products, but on the other hand, some may thing that they don’t typically need all that power for day to day tasks. The launch of an 8-inch tablet would allow this search giant to enter a new market that is not that crowded.
According to DigiTimes (which I am going to call “the tabloid of IT news,” due to its bombastic headlines), Google gave the green light to Asus to build an 8″ tablet powered by the Intel Bay Trail chipset. This would be a radical change, since most manufacturers of devices running Android opt for Qualcomm, not to mention that all the members of the Nexus family are powered by Snapdragon chipsets. To make things more credible, DigiTimes claims that the source of this information is part of the supply chain, and while this should be taken with a grain of salt, rumors of an 8″ Nexus tablet have been around for a while.
The problem with an 8-inch Nexus tablet is that it would compete against LG G Pad 8. You guessed it, an 8″ tablet made by LG, the South Korean company that made Nexus 4 and 5, thus proving that it has quite a strong partnership with Google. Indeed, the G Pad 8 is not without problems, but making LG and Asus compete over who makes the best 8-inch tablet wouldn’t be very fair.
Had Google had only the Nexus 7 in its offer, going bigger would have made a lot of sense. However, there’s also the Nexus 10, so sticking another product in-between would be unnatural. In my opinion, 7″ tablets are highly portable, so adding an inch to the whole deal would make them less so.
Google typically launches its smaller Nexus tablets in the summer, so we have a few months left to see if the above rumors turn out to be true or not. Either way, such a hint should get Chinese manufacturers of accessories for mobile devices going, since they always have cases ready days after a product launches.