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Report: Next-gen Nexus 7 to arrive in July

Google is preparing to launch a next-generation version of its popular Nexus 7 tablet this July, Reuters has reported, citing two unnamed sources.

The second edition of the Asus-produced tablet is expected to replace the original model’s Tegra 3 processor with a Snapdragon chip. It will also have an improved screen resolution and a slimmer design featuring a thinner bezel.

Despite the upgraded hardware, the tablet is expected to retain its budget pricing. According to Reuters, it may get a price tag of $149 (£99) and replace the original Nexus 7, or may be priced at $199 (£130) with the original Nexus 7 being discounted further to make it more competitive against Apple’s iPad mini, Amazon’s Kindle range and 7in Android tablets from Samsung and other hardware manufacturers.

While the iPad mini starts at £269, Google has priced its devices within a much lower bracket, likely in a bid to expand its market share and customer base while growing its primary business - online advertising.

By some estimates, Google sold nearly five million Nexus 7s last year, and expects to bump that to six to eight million during the corresponding second half of 2013. Asus, meanwhile, plans to double its tablet shipments to 12 million this year.