Earlier this year, Google held yet another I/O conference but, unlike I/O 2012 there was not a single piece of new hardware in sight. Of course, it’s important to remember that I/O has always been, first and foremost, about developers and about software. So then, 2012 was some sort of fluke, some sort of experiment for Google. So too, was the Nexus 7, although that little experiment went on to become quite successful. You see, unlike any other Nexus before it, the Nexus 7 was very much a consumer product, and we’re not talking “tech-consumers” here, we’re talking the everyman. For a lot of people, the Nexus 7 is just “a tablet from Google” with a cool name. Much like the Kindle Fire was just “a tablet from Amazon” and the iPad Mini is “a smaller iPad”. When it comes to 7-inch tablets, everyone is the target market.
Okay, so not everyone wants a 7-inch tablet but, there’s a reason these things have become more popular, and there’s a reason why you’ve probably become more of a staple on your commute to walk. The main reason for this is of course, price but, as well as that 7-inch tablets have come desirable pieces of technology that everyone can get behind. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that even “soccer-moms” are getting in on the tablet craze but, the point I’d trying to make is that they’re no longer the reserve of geeks and tech enthusiasts.
It’s for this reason that we probably won’t be seeing a new Nexus 7 until the Fall, until the “Golden Quarter”. Much like the PS4 and Xbox One launches, a new tablet needs to be strategically positioned and over the past couple of years we’ve seen Google become a consumer company, much like Apple and Samsung. Certainly not on the same level but, with the Play Store now offering games, apps, books, magazine, movies, music and TV Shows, the Nexus 7 is an easy-sell.
The problem with devices such as the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7, is getting people to buy the next one. Sure, we’re all going to buy one but, what about your friend who’s only bothered about upgrading if he can no longer gain access to his movies and TV Shows? What does a higher resolution display mean to them? Well, this is why Google would more than likely be releasing the device in the Fall. You need to create buzz around such a device, and make it desirable. To do this Google would launch in the Fall, with aggressive pricing and features that translate easily to everyone.
This Fall is the time of the next Nexus 7 because of two other things as well: the Kindle Fire and the iPad Mini. If you still don’t think Google are competing in the same space as Amazon and Apple then you’re sorely misguided. While Google doesn’t sell everything under the sun like Amazon, all three now have comparable digital storefronts and all three of them can afford to sell at razor-thin margins or at cost. Even if Amazon don’t release a new Kindle Fire this year, we all know that they’re going to push it hard with new marketing efforts and incredible deals. As for Apple, well, we all know a new iPad Mini is coming, and we can probably guess that it’ll be resolutionary.
If Google want to continue the success that the Nexus 7 quickly became, they’ll release the device in the Fall and position it as a tablet for everyone, a tablet that’s not only an alternative to the iPad Mini and the Kindle Fire but the better tablet. The Fall is an obvious release window for new devices but, when you’re selling something like the Nexus 7 it could either make it or break it.
As for us? The folks that are waiting impatiently for a new Nexus 7? Well, I think we can all wait until Fall, can’t we? Don’t forget, we’ll be getting speedy updates and our hardware isn’t anywhere near being antiquated nor obsolete. Will I be upgrading? More than likely, I was a latecomer to the Nexus 7 party, and I regretted that so I will take the chance to get the new Nexus 7 as soon as possible. My old Nexus 7 will be handed down to my girlfriend, anything to stop her buying an iPad – sorry, was that in bad taste?