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Google Nexus 7 tablet to become cheaper and slimmer in 2013

With Christmas just days away, the tablet wars are in full swing as shoppers snag devices like the fourth-generation iPad, Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, and Microsoft Surface. While all of these devices offer rich user experiences, final decisions often boil down to price sensitivity. A report out of Taiwan indicates that Google is planning to further disrupt the tablet market by introducing an even cheaper version of its Android tablet next year.

The Nexus 7 has been widely praised as the best tablet next to the iPad, thanks in part to its £159 to£239 price tag. However, according to Taiwanese tech publication Digitimes, Google is hoping to open the flood gates to higher user adoption by releasing a new Nexus 7 tablet that will be priced between $99 and $149 (£60 and £90) some time next year.

The report claims that Google and Asus are working with touch-screen maker Shenzhen O-Film Tech to introduce the cheaper Nexus 7 using glass-film-film (GFF) technology, a move that may also help to make the device thinner. A significantly cheaper, high-quality tablet like the Nexus 7 could be the next frontier for capturing tablet consumers, if recent reviews of the competition are any indication.

The iPad mini is popular, but consumers aren't too enthused by its non-Retina display and heftier, £269 starting price.

The report claims that Google's cheaper Nexus 7 will first target emerging markets, with initial shipments in the range of 500,000-600,000 units.

The new model is reportedly scheduled to ship some time in the first or second quarter of 2013 - a time-frame that could hint at an official announcement being made in or around CES 2013 next month.