By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 04, 2012 09:20 AM EDT
The Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet made by Asus is one of the hottest Android tablets currently available on the market. It has a low price and the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, as well as the promise of timely updates in the future.
The Nexus 7 is a well-constructed tablet sporting a 7-inch screen. It delivers a speedy performance thanks to its quad-core CPU, and it has a solid build quality. One problem, however, is that currently it is available exclusively in Wi-Fi-only configurations. At $200, the tablet enjoyed immense popularity even if it lacks a 3G version, but many would still like to see a 3G version of the Nexus 7 on the market.
According to new reports, however, Asus and Google are in fact working on a 3G-enabled version as well. Citing a "well placed insider," Paul O'Brien of MoDaCo claims that the companies are preparing a 3G variant to launch in "around six weeks," with production already under way.
Asus is reportedly ramping up production of the 3G Nexus 7, and the "around six weeks" time frame indicates a potential release in mid-October, sometime in the week starting on Oct. 15. No exact date, however, has been mentioned yet, and it is uncertain at this point which countries will get the new tablet first. The Nexus 7 still has a very limited availability, even with the recent addition of France, Germany, and Spain. Asus will likely not ship the 3G version from day one to all the places the Wi-Fi-only model is currently available.
Aside from the mobile data connectivity addition, the 3G version of the Nexus 7 will remain identical to the Wi-Fi-only model. While mobile data connectivity is a welcome addition, it will also likely add to the price tag. Device makers usually spice up their devices' price tags by roughly $100 just for the 3G data, but for the Nexus 7 that would mean a 50 percent price increase. The Nexus 7 is currently one of the cheapest tablets on the market, and a price increase might significantly affect its popularity.
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