THE 8GB GOOGLE NEXUS 7 tablet is now mysteriously "unavailable" to buy from both the US and UK Google Play stores amid rumours that Google will launch a 32GB model at its Android event next week.
Customers wanting to buy the 8GB tablet, which was launched back in July and costs £159, are now greeted with a "coming soon" sign where it previously showed "add to cart". Users are instead left with an option to submit their email addresses and be notified by the website when the model becomes available again.
This could be that the tablet is simply out of stock, and we have asked Google to comment about whether this is the case. But still, it seems rather strange how the tablet is suddenly unavailable on both the UK and US Google Play websites days before the firm's next big Android announcement. The "coming soon" message could in fact be a way for Google to cover up how it is pulling the 8GB model all together.
If the 8GB Nexus 7 tablet has in fact been pulled by Google and the 16GB model becomes the cheapest option, it remains uncertain how this could affect the tablet's pricing. It could be that Google will lower the price of the 16GB Nexus 7, but we doubt it would reduce it all the way to £159 from £199, as that it would be unfair to those who have recently bought the 8GB model.
On the other hand, if Google keeps the price of the 16GB model the same, it will mean that Google's Nexus 7 will then begin at £199 instead of the current £159 and it will be less attractive for customers in the market for a 7in budget tablet.
Google sent out colourful invitations for its Android event to be held on Thursday, asking guests to attend Basketball City in New York on at 9:00am on 29 October.
It is not certain what Google will announce but we can speculate that it could be anything from a new Android handset to a new Nexus tablet. The rumour mill has so far strongly suggested that there is a 32GB Nexus 7 tablet and new Nexus smartphone, and if that's true the tablet will be a definite contender against the Ipad Mini that Apple announced on Tuesday.
However, Gartner research director Roberta Cozza told The INQUIRER today that Google will have to do something rather spectacular to counter the Ipad Mini, adding that it needs to announce a device that really "steps up" its ecosystem around the tablet. If it doesn't, Cozza warned that Google's battle against the Ipad Mini - which offers "lower costs but a premium offering from the point of view of the ecosystem" - is going to be a tough one.
Online retailer Very is advertising a 32GB model of the Nexus 7 as "new" for pre-order on its website with a £199 price tag, further backing rumours of such a device. Assuming what can only be a mishap on the retailer's behalf, The INQUIRER spotted the page that also states the device will ship a week today on 31 October. µ