It's not easy competing in the increasingly crowded 7-inch Android
tablet category, even for Google
, which arguably offers the best solution with its Nexus 7 (see our review)
. Google entered the market at a time when there weren't many viable, low-cost alternatives, and with the situation having now changed, there's talk that Google might switch its focus to the 8-inch category.
Citing sources hanging out in the upstream supply chain, news and rumor site Digitimes
says an 8-inch Nexus tablet could hit retail by the middle of the year. In addition to stretching out the size, sources say Google may go with Intel's Bay Trail-T
platform rather than an ARM-based foundation.
If that ends up being the case, it would be a huge win for Intel, which itself is aggressively trying to increase its presence in the mobile sector and wrestle away market share from ARM. One of the best ways to do that is by securing a contract with one of the leading tablet makers, in this case Google.
This would still be an Android tablet, just bigger and with a x86 chip inside. It also looks like Asus will manufacturer the device, just as it's done with the original Nexus 7 and the 2013 model. Asus has a close relationship with Google and has been able to manufacture a large number of tablets without much issue.