Second-generation Nexus 7 still expected to touch down over the Summer

Second-generation Nexus 7 still expected to touch down over the SummerThe possibility of a rebooted Nexus 7 tablet was one of the many hardware-related rumours doing the rounds ahead of Google I/O last week – a rumour which like all the others proved to be unfounded.

But that doesn't mean a refreshed Nexus 7 isn't on the cards, and Taiwanese supply chain voyeur DigiTimes continues to report on its existence, and says it should start shipping before the end of Q2 ahead of a Q3 launch.

That's in line with pre-Google I/O speculation that was doing the rounds, suggesting that the possibility of a new version of the Asus-made slate touching down at Google's developer event was always wishful thinking.

The Nexus 7's launch nearly a year ago marked an interesting departure for Google's own-brand Nexus devices. Not only was it the first tablet to get the Nexus treatment, but it also shunned the Android hero device status the Nexus smartphones had held for a new sales model: high sales volume driven by a subsidised price.

A year later, and you'd have to say it's been a successful strategy – the very fact we're even talking about a second-gen Nexus 7 proves that, as a version refresh will also mark a first for a Nexus device.

DigiTimes' latest claims deal mainly revolve around the revamped Nexus 7's potential launch window, specifically that it will “start shipping the end of the second quarter and is expected to hit market shelves in the third quarter, according to supply-chain sources”.

However, it also claims that it will come with a new 7in low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) panel, sourced primarily from AU Optronics (AUO), though the company itself is refusing to comment.

Rumours are that the updated display will have an impressive 1920 x 1200 resolution, which would certainly be a serious shot in the arm.

By this point it's surely now beyond speculation that Asus is cooking up some manner of Nexus-branded tablet update to be released at some point over the next few months.

What remains very much up in the air, however, is just how it will be branded or presented – will it continue to be known as the Nexus 7 and just take on a newly updated spec? In which case, will the newly packaged spec be delivered at the same prices as the current models? That would be nice.

Those “front end” questions might remain unanswered for a while, as it's not the kind of thing DigiTimes gets involved with.

But whatever it's called and however it's branded, the Asus-made Nexus 7 now looks set to remain at the sharp end of the Android tablet action for plenty of time to come.

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