Friday, May 10, 2013

New Nexus 7 to highlight Google I/O; Samsung Android notebooks coming in three to four months: Kuo

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has been saying for some time that production issues would delay the second-generation iPad mini, doubled down on that assertion in a research note issued on Thursday, while adding that Google's upcoming Nexus 7 refresh may be able to take advantage of the delay.

Kuo's research note outlined a number of upgraded specs for the second-generation of Google's popular 7-inch tablet.

Among the changes:
  • Android 4.3 (still Jelly Bean?)
  • Quad-core Qualcomm APQ8064 processor
  • 7-inch 1920 x 1200 display
  • A new 5MP rear-facing camera (the first-generation Nexus 7 had only a front-facing camera)
  • A front-facing HD camera
  • NFC
  • Texas Instruments' Qi wireless charging
  • 4,000 mAH battery
Despite the upgrades, Google will maintain a $199 price for the lowest-priced Nexus 7. This would mean the company would lose from $5 to $10 per device, according to Kuo.

Somewhat disappointingly, Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is not expected to be a focus of the release.

Kuo didn't mention a release date, but if the device is indeed shown off at Google I/O, we expect that the first shipment will be to Google I/O attendees in a "gift bag."

The research note's crystal ball went further into the future.  Kuo added that in the months following Google I/O, he expects to see an Android powered notebook, a new Google TV product, and even a Google smart watch.

The notebooks -- although perhaps seeming strange since Google has invested a lot in its Chrome OS -- aren't really a surpprise. Just last month Intel executives confirmed that the majority of its new sub-$200 Atom-based notebooks will be Android based. Kuo said that vendors such as Samsung will apparently ship Android 4.x powered notebooks in the next three to four months:

The smart watch will join Google Glass in the wearable computing market segment, but Kuo said that it won’t hit mass production until at least next year.

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