It looks like the Kindle Fire’s days as the most attractive Android tablet for less than $200 could be numbered. As we prepare for Google I/O next week, where the 7-inch “Nexus 7” is expected to get its unveiling, one report claims that the tablet is already shipping from factories, and that it will be available to consumers as early as next month for just $199.
Sources for DigiTimes claim that Asustek Computer’s (Asus) Chairman Jonney Shih will be at Google’s event, which kicks off on June 27 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, alongside the Google team.
The 7-inch Nexus tablet PC already started shipping in June and is estimated to be available in the retail channel in July with the device’s total shipments expected to reach at least three million units in the second half of the year.
With Google expected to unveil the details of the devices at Google I/O, Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih will also attend the conference to jointly announce the tablet PC with Google.
Because of its teeny price tag, sources claim that the Nexus 7 will be available with Wi-Fi only (no 3G) and that it will not feature a rear-facing camera. It will, however, feature a front-facing camera for video calls and conferencing, and it is expected to come pre-loaded with Google’s Chrome browser, which is currently in beta on Android.
It’s hard to say whether that $199 price tag will be worth it until we know for sure what the Nexus 7 will be sporting inside, but, without being too harsh on Amazon’s device, it won’t need all that much to make the Kindle Fire look like a less attractive option.
If you’d like to see Google unveil the Nexus 7, be sure to download the new Google I/O 2012 app for Android.