An entry-level $99 Nexus 7 tablet has been rumored for awhile and even confirmed by CNET, but many have been wondering what corners Google would cut to achieve this low price. According to the sometimse-credible Digitimes, it appears Google will use a single-core chip (PRIZM WM8950) from China-based WonderMedia Technologies and a HUVA TN panel made by Taiwan-based HannStar Display.
The estimated build of materials cost for the 8 GB Nexus 7 is around $151, and the most expensive components are the display, touchscreen, and processor. These parts add up to $83, which is more than half the total cost of the device. If Google goes with a cheaper processor and display, we think it’s possible for them to produce a 7-inch tablet for less than $99.
We don’t know much about the performance of this PRIZM WM8950 chip, but it does feature an 800 MHz Cortex-A9 CPU and a Mali-400 GPU. Clock speeds of the GPU are unknown, but it’s still the same GPU architecture found in recent devices like the international Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II. This chip certainly won’t match the performance of the quad-core Tegra 3, but Google should be able to squeeze enough juice out of it to run a 7-inch display.
Different sources have reported different release dates for this entry-level $99 Nexus 7, but most agree Google will unveil it sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.
I know I wouldn’t want to own this device, but I think it could be a great move for Google if it gets Android tablets into more peoples’ hands. The overall quality of Android apps optimized for tablets is lacking, and a growing user base would only encourage developers to update their apps.