Asus Chairman explains why we didn't get a 3rd generation Nexus 7
Asus chairman Jonney Shih sat down to talk with tech site Trusted Reviews and, among the things discussed, was a possible continuation of the Nexus 7 line. As you probably remember, Asus collaborated with Google on two generations of mini tablets, building the Nexus 7 (2012) and Nexus 7 (2013). The tablets were very well received for their mix of quality hardware, solid build, snappy vanilla Android, and affordable price. Unfortunately, in 2014, Google killed off the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 lines and combined them in a single Nexus 9 tablet – one made by HTC. And, in 2015, the company announced its in-house-built Pixel C tablet-laptop hybrid. So, it seems like a new mini tablet is not something Google is planning for the near future.
Back to the talk, Mr. Shih confirmed that there are a lot of Google-related projects on Asus' drawing board, but nothing is yet certain to go official. The manufacturer and the search giant are still working together, said the chairman. The two companies did discuss a possible 3rd generation of the Nexus 7 quite a lot, but they didn't feel like the device would have enough potential, Mr. Shih said. According to him, the first Nexus 7 was an exciting device (and it was) – bringing bild quality and functionality at a price point that was previously unheard of. The next tablet in the family refined the design and bumped the hardware, making it even more desirable. However, Asus and Google didn't feel like a possible Nexus 7 (2014) or (2015) would be as much of a hard-hitter.
See, the issue with tablets is, as we all know, that user interest in them has quickly faded. Consumers rarely buy new slates, because they find that they can do most of their work on a smartphone or, naturally, on PC. Tablets, and especially the mini-sized ones, just fall in the awkward middle, where one uses them to watch movies or read books. And you don't need to buy a new device once every 12 or 24 months for that type of media consumption.