: Google is planning low-ball itself with an even cheaper Nexus 7, according to an Asia-based report.
Google and Asus wowed consumers with the $199 Nexus 7 and now they're aiming at price points below $150, ultimately going as low as $99, according to Taipei-based Digitimes, citing sources at display component maker O-Film Tech.
The lower-priced Nexus 7 should be released by the second quarter of next year, said the technology site, which covers device manufacturers and component suppliers in Asia.
O-Film started shipping components for the lower-priced Nexus 7 in December, the report said. The company's touch-screen glass-glass film technology will contribute to lower production costs and make it thinner, Digitimes said.
The cost-reduction measures could eventually lead to a $99 Nexus 7 but this may not happen initially. The cheaper Nexus 7 may first be priced in the $129 to $149 range, according to the report.
Shipment estimates of the new Nexus 7 are in the range of 500,000 to 600,000 in the first quarter of shipments.
Needless to say, a Nexus 7 priced below $150 and eventually going to $99 would make Google's tablet even more competitively priced against the $329 iPad Mini -- even allowing for the high-quality build that Apple typically achieves with its tablets.
And, as always, this Digitimes report is coming from the supply chain, which can be very unpredictable. Orders for an unconfirmed new component or new product can be canceled at any time.
Also note that there are rumors already about a $99 Asus tablet that could be a forerunner to an upcoming Nexus 7.
Google and Asus are currently shipping about one million Nexus 7 devices per month, according to recent statements from Asus executives.