Without trying to ring a bell one too many times, it is Nexus week. If you have been following the news, then it probably feels more like Nexus month. But either way, the event is literally upon us. By the time most open for business on Monday morning, it will be the eve of the event. So, what is on the agenda? Well, that seems pretty obvious thanks to the massive leaks that have come through this week. Barring any massive marketing decoy from Google, there will be two Nexus smartphones this year. The Nexus 6P from Huawei and the Nexus 5X from LG. They have been covered enough, so not much point rehashing here. If you want to know more about them then click here or here.
What we want to talk about now is tablets. In all honesty, this is not a saying we hear much noawadays. It seems besides the odd occurrence, no one wants to talk tablets anymore and this is somewhat of a shame. The tablet market is one being squeezed at both ends, seeing sliding sales and generally a complete lack of interest. Unless of course, you are a tablet and your name starts with Apple. In Android land, tablets seem to be a big no-no at the moment. So the big question is – should we expect a tablet at the Nexus event? Is there going to be a Nexus tablet this year?
The short answer is obviously not. In a world of leaks, renders, benchmarks, dummy devices, carriers, retailers and ‘in the wild;’ almost no top tier product can make it to a launch without some details becoming known. It is the way of the business and in reality (and although they complain), leaks are good business for businesses. It drums up interest, anticipation and hope of sales. And in an industry like tablets, where sales are already hard to come by, a Nexus tablet certainly would need that attention.
Of course, this could signal the fact that Google (like everyone else) seems to have lost interest in the world of tablets. If this is true, then that means the Nexus 9 is the last Nexus tablet. That in itself feel a bit strange. Although, the Nexus 9 was met with anticipation, once it did come out, it seemed slow to update, users reported multiple issues and it was just not as good as it could have been. So it would seem to be a bit of a downer if that was the swan song Nexus tablet. Certainly, Google would want to bounce back from the Nexus 9 with a super duper tablet. But if so, where are the leaks?
If you want some further indications that there wont be a Nexus tablet on the way this year, then just look at the sales. In the last week, the Nexus 6 has been discounted heavily and various sales have seen it going for $375, $350 and even $300. Effectively, half the price that it launched for this time last year. That in itself, tells you that there is a new Nexus smartphone on the way as everyone is looking to offload their current stock of the current Nexus smartphone. In contrast, when it comes to the Nexus 9, your lucky if you find a deal offering $50 off the normal Google Store price. Again, this is a big indicator that Google not only does not have a Nexus tablet on the way, but also no one is any rush to clear any stockpile that they might be sitting on.
But then again. one could question whether there is going to be a new Nexus Player this year? Although a single report emerged recently about an an FCC filing suggesting it could be a Nexus Player, there has been next to no leaks, renders, images or information coming through. Not to mention, it was only suggesting it could be a Nexus player. It could quite easily have been something else. Yet, the consensus is Google will release one. Why? Well, because they should! It is expected! So by the same token, surely a Nexus tablet is expected, right? Yes, you could argue the two smartphones negate the need for a tablet this year. But again, by the same token you could argue that the two reported Chromecasts that are scheduled for release negate the need for a Nexus Player. If Google are focusing on two smartphones, and not a tablet, then they could just as easily be focusing this year on two Chromecasts and no Nexus Player. So although, the lack of leaks and so on, do suggest a Nexus tablet is not coming, it does not mean there won’t be one. Google has a habit of surprising the Android masses and chances are, they will have one or two surprises in line.
However, that may just be hope on my part. As, in the cold hard light, it does seem increasingly likely that a tablet will not be on the agenda this year. Which is disappointing. As the tablet market is currently slumping, the one company who might have been able to really change things up and bring some momentum back to the market would have been Google. So maybe once all is said and done, the absence of a Nexus tablet this year probably says more about tablets in general, then it does about Google. Especially, if they feel even they cannot help tablets now.