Oct 17 AT 10:40 AM Taylor Wimberly 62 Comments

Digitimes says entry-level $99 Nexus 7 to feature single-core 800 MHz processor

google-nexus-7-630

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.

Source: Digitimes

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    There is absolutely no way I would buy a single-core 800MHz tablet. Ever! Sorry, but nope! Single-core 1GHz Android devices are already painful for me. I’d MUCH rather a $125 dual-core 1GHz tablet. By TONS!

    • Hom0ncruse

      final nail in the coffin for nexus tablet brand

    • jamal adam

      I don’t think this device is deserving of the title of a Nexus.

      • Rupert_234liverpool234

        Agree, Android franchise is on a rapid decline, it destroys itself. What a desaster for Android fans.

        • Jon Garrett

          yes, 70% market share and world dominance after just 3yrs is disturbing.

          • M

            iPad is dominating the markets. Android tablets are mostly trash tablets (for cheap) that end up being thrown into the waste. Thats why iPads web traffic is at 90 per cent overall market share. iPad makes lots of money, while Android tablets loose money.

    • shadhussain

      not every nexus device needs to be aimed at the high-end market. i’ve been waiting for 2 years for a cheap optimized stock android tablet/phone that i can buy for my folks and in-laws. The only have basic web/youtube/video chat/email-centric computing needs. i don’t want to get them a cheap brand that may or may not be supported or updated. i don’t want it to just break down either. if google mass produces these $100 nexus’ and continues to optimize, support and update them, i think this could be huge for ppl who don’t really need computers in their daily lives.

      • thekaz

        Nexus or not, for $99, I’d buy this and mount it in my kitchen for shopping lists, family calendar, recipes, etc…

    • nosense

      You sir, are a fcking Moron.

      I actually have a 1ghz single core cortex A8 9.7′ IPS tablet running Android 4.1, and it BLOWS the iPAD 1.

      This is a Cortex A9 single core and a MALI400 same as Galaxy SII (not SIII)…

      ENOUGH to give TONS of satisfaction thankx to Jelly Bean’s optimization.

      Shut the mouth if you don’t know what you are talking about.

      99$??? Thats a MARKET BREAKER FOOLS!

      • nosense

        When I say optimization, I mean that with JB’s Android’s Hardware Acceleration is at its best, and it is the GPU the one to be squeezed while feeling the OS experience.

        Aka PROJECT BUTTER

        THE PROCESSOR (CPU) therefore is unstressed… Because you happen to have actually 3 CORES at your disposal.

        Lesson learned kid?

        • nosense

          Final point.

          The NEXUS S…runs like butter with WORSE HARDWARE than this tab.

          A Better Processor and a DUAL CORE GPU (Mali400) means:

          BETTER XPERIENCE!

      • anamika

        I am using a unknown brand Allwinner based 7″ tablet with android 4. It is smoother then by branded LG mobile. Except for few s/w issues and low resolution 800×480 its a fine device.

        A compay like google can clearly build a better spec’d device.

        I was actually hoping for rockchip 3306 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockchip#RK3066

    • Jon Garrett

      they’d make great Xmas presents for people who are not power users. maybe mom or dad for eBook reading, your 8yr old for school or something for grandma to check her email or Facebook account.

  • Saif

    Better than those cheap chinese tablets.. Will be a good alternative

    • David

      Whats so different between those chinese tablets and this made in china tablet?

      • Adrien C.

        QC.

      • Derek R-C

        Quality Control including non exploding batteries and no lead paint

  • Nate B.

    Please dot let it be true. I mean everything doesn’t have to be a power house but the already Nexus 7 is just fine. Being a Nexus Google doesn’t need to saturate the market. Stick to your own script.

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      I agree, this shouldn’t be a Nexus. That said, I disagree about Google needing to saturate the market. They left it to the OEMs and they failed. So Google is stepping in. Personally, I think it’s time for Google to create a second (non-Nexus) line of products to target the low-end market. If they did this, then these rumored specs begin to make sense.

      I think the clear product lines should be this:

      Nexus – Latest and greatest product, pushing technology to the next level.
      Modus – Taking modern technology and making it affordable for those who can’t afford to invest in the top-of-the-line components.

      * “Modus” should probably be replaced with a good name and not some crap I just made up. ;-)

      • stenzor

        Cheapus

    • nosense

      Another retard…

      Google’s script is having DOMINANCE of the Search, Maps, Music, Books, Videos, etc on the mobile world.

      While in the smartphones arena OEMs had helped…in the tablet game Google has to hammer down the market for good.

      Now more than ever, with Apple’s ban on their services.

      Too many CEOS here

  • Paul

    Personally I dont believe this, you need a minimum of 1.2mHZ duel core on a tablet otherwise it will be sluggish & stutter alot.

    • Paul

      1.2Mhz Dual core I mean.

      • Mantas

        1.2GHz maybe? :D

    • whyzor

      Most apps don’t use 2 cores. The sluggishness is fixed by using the GPU to do hardware acceleration on basic tasks.

      • Adrien C.

        Well said. I’m using ICS on an HTC Aria and it runs pretty smooth.
        It’s a 600MhZ single core and Adreno 200 GPU.

        This tablet with Mali could run most of the games plus daily use.
        We’re talking about Jelly Bean 4.2 here, which is supposed to have improved Project Butter optimizations.

    • Toonshorty

      1.2MHz isn’t going to be very quick ;)

  • mustybooks

    Yeah I doubt this is true. Google have found a great balance in the nexus 7. Why would they skimp on quality when $160-199 tablets sell so well anyway.

    • mustybooks

      sorry think of UK prices… £160-200 or $200-249

      • mustybooks

        thinking*… damn you no edit! :)

  • Harpal PAdwal

    Terrible decision, why give users a sluggish bad experience of a good product. Come on Google, think like Apple, not Samsung and their 1 million products on the product line (excluding S3 and Nexus).

  • Sharky

    They could get it down to $125 without sacrificing much performance, which would still be below the 100 mark when converted to Euros or £’s. $99 feel like pushing it to far.

  • uknowme

    Bad idea. Nuff said.

  • triangle

    I doubt that anyone on this site would want to use such a tablet, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Google producing a cheaper tablet that would be accessible to more people AS LONG AS the experience is still good. With Jelly Bean and 1GB of RAM and that dual core processor, they might be able to make a tablet that is ADEQUATE for light users. Not the peeps here, but really light users.

  • renyo

    I used to think that a less powered tablet would be a waste, but seeing so many of my friends with IPad 3, Nexus 7 and other powerful tablets using them just for reading e-books or browsing the web… So I think an entry level Nexus would be welcome… I for one game on my laptop and still find touchscreen gaming somewhat un-intuitive… And while I would love to buy a tablet, I would probably use it just for reading e-books (textbooks cost a lot!) and web browsing… And while there is Kindle out there, I don’t like the idea of them spamming ads on the lock screen… So I would most definitely buy a $99 tablet (as long as the GUI doesn’t lag)!

    • Adrien C.

      Probably won’t, at least not with stock apps.
      Google will probably tune it well to make good use of the GPU and be butter smooth.

  • David

    Right, developing a cheap piece of junk tablet will be helpful to get Android in more peoples hands…. so they can get a bad impression of Android.

    “a growing user base would only encourage developers to update their apps.”
    And developers will flock to a platform where users are so cheap they can only afford a $99 tablet, yet developers will be able to make money…. How? I think not. Only if smothered in advertising. Yum.

    Overall, clearly not intended to compete with the iPad(s).

    • ├♂ÆjÚ¢y¦L

      iPad mini will smoke this bumtablet

  • alankrut

    What they could do is have a dual core processor and maybe have ads or something similar to what Amazon is doing.

  • Nick

    Overclocking just got relevant again!

  • acey_zero

    I would have hoped for a little bit stronger CPU, but this is the same MHz as my Nook Color (running Cyanogenmod) which is still a completely usable device. In fact it is much faster than my 1Ghz (single core) phone and has almost no lag. I think this is because I have a lot less stuff syncing on it and running in the background, etc.

    800 MHz will limit what you can do with the tablet, but it will still be a great device for browsing the internet, watching movies, playing most games, etc.

  • SGB101

    this is such a bad move, and can only tarnish the ‘Nexus’ brand.

    this is the reason android gets a bad ran, cheap naff hardware, then it get compared with the ipad (unfairly but it does) and by the time this launces, it will be compared with ipad mini.

    only bad can come out of this, an Google certified, Nexus branded, under powered device, will fly off the shelves and then be slated.

  • thetechmaniac

    Well , you could by a phablet , which is a better option , especially the J Butterfly ( http://esponential.com/2012/10/17/440-ppi-5-inches-but-you-probably-wont-get-any-of-it/ ) But it probably won’t be available in America :/

  • Paul Atreides

    You don’t like it don’t buy it. I’m sure there’s tons of people that could make the best of this for $99. Bring it on Google just in time for the holiday season. I would get this for my daughter.

  • NexusNYC

    Call me naive but I think people who dont have $199 to spend on a tablet probably dont have $99 to spend on a tablet. This is a move in the wrong direction. You cant be everything to everyone all the time. It dilutes the brand.

    • anamika

      Not everyone lives in USA!

  • A.Woodbury

    ThIs would be a great option for non power users. Would also introduce them to the beauty of stock android; then they’re hooked! I like this idea, but personally it’s not for me. For $100 more you could get a quad core, might as well dish out the extra money

  • Nfan

    I’m running a custom ROM and Kernel with my Nexus 7, as a test I down-clocked the CPU to 760 MHz, next highest would have been 910 MHz. My Buttery smooth device has now reverted to Gingerbread, full of Jank!

    I’m on the latest Jelly Bean 4.1.2, all that Google could move to the GPU has been so, unless 4.2 brings a shocking performance increase this rumored device will be a massive mistake, destroying the hard work in improving Android reputation for UI smoothness.

    Also my Tegra 3 Nexus, I can envisage being upgraded to Android 5.0, those rumored shoddy specs, no way at all, so a Nexus device that doesn’t get updated, WTF. I’m sure Google can replace the 8GB with the 16 GB model for $159, heck without the Play Store credit they could drop it to $150. So for $50 dollars difference, which is what, 10 Big Macs, they want to enter a world of hardware shame, come on leave the race to the bottom to those crappy import tablets, and their low-brow users….. rant over.

  • Bpear96

    There are $100-120 7″ tablets with a Amlogic 1.5ghz dual core CPU with Mali GPU. Google should look into using that SoC maybe. Or maybe a Rockchip

    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/7-inch-novo7-Android-4-0-AML8726-MX-1-5GHz-Dual-Core-IPS-screen-tablet-pc/617444626.html

  • Nathan D.

    That is super cheap for a tablet, but then again it getting a under power processor which isn’t for me.

  • BigCiX

    Why?

  • sere83

    Yeah this does surprise me I have to say.

    As Bpear96 mentioned many Chinese manufacturers already have dual core AMlogic and Rockchip chipset based devices on the market for around the $100 and less mark, why Google would opt for a single core chipset is baffling to me, unless volume or quality control was an issue.

    Personally I think going low end with the nexus brand may be detrimental and cheapen the brand as a whole. In some ways similar to what has happened to samsung with the Galaxy brand and their saturation of the market with cheap janky variations.

    I know google wants more tablets in hands to aid adoption and motivate developers to make more tablet apps, but the performance of the Nexus which I have used a fair bit is decent but no matter how optimized it would be I still think a single core chipset powered device would not provide a good enough user experience for Googles target demographic.

    Another thing worth noting is Google is selling the majority of its tablets in highly developed nations where the average consumer often has more than $100 to spend and doesn’t mind spending a bit more to get better performance hence the huge success of iPhone and iPad in America, Europe and the more affluent parts of Asia.

    Attempting to flood the market with low end devices with sub par performance seems like an odd idea to me and will only serve to reinforce androids status as the ‘cheap’ OS of choice and reinforce apples status as the ‘premiuim/elite’ choice.

  • Revalence

    Better idea: $150 Nexus Tablet-
    Please keep 1280×800 res. Perhaps lower screen tech?
    1.0-1.2 GhZ Snapdragon S4 “Play”
    512MB RAM
    8GB Storage + Expandable MicroSD
    Plus OPTIMIZE, OPTIMIZE, OPTIMIZE!

  • Derek R-C

    I know what I am getting my older relatives for Christmas presents this year.

    • Cancel

      Me too, iPad mini here we go…

  • Droidberg

    oh heeelllll no! >:(

  • Max.Steel

    I hope this is turns out to be a false rumor. I have a Nexus 7 which is a quad core and still experience some slowdown or stutter in some games (to be fair though, this is more of the fault of the developers for not optimizing their games), I can’t imagine what an 800 MHz would entail. Quite a lot of apps wouldn’t be able to run properly or at all. I really hope this is all just a lie.

  • Why not?

    My Mom wouldn’t know the difference between a Tegra 3 & a Porsche Targa. All she needs is the basics that she can use to check email, surf Web, and maybe an occasional video chat with my niece. Wouldn’t mind spending $99 for something she’s barely going to know how to use anyway.

  • Andrew T

    Android tablets are the new bum tablets. I love my ipad, i dont wanna downgrade to this toy plastics crap!

  • thechad

    cool

    • lala

      yes cool