It’s a rumor that’s been floating around for awhile now and it looks like it’s rearing its head yet again. The always hit-or-miss Digitimes is now reporting from “sources in the supply chain” that ASUS could be turning to Qualcomm for the next iteration of the Google Nexus 7, instead of NVIDIA (who was responsible for the Tegra CPU found in current gen 7’s). Yeah, we’ve heard that part already — but why?
It seems it could have less to do with saving money and more to do with the upcoming Nexus 7’s LTE/voice capabilities. Apparently Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is just more LTE friendly than the Tegra 3 (something we’ve known about for sometime). So, why not the Tegra 4 which has embedded LTE functionality? Apparently, NVIDIA wasn’t able to supply their Tegra 4 CPU’s in time for the next-gen Nexus 7’s launch in May (to be announced at Google I/O). The part that really stinks is NVIDIA could be missing out on upwards of 8 million CPU shipments in 2013 because of this change, a move that NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun is no doubt unhappy about.
All this talk of a SIM equipped Nexus 7 makes perfect sense too given the recently announced ASUS FonePad with similar functionality. I’ll just keep crossing my fingers for an upgraded 1080p display.