Unnamed sources from upstream component makers claim that Google is already shipping its first 7-inch Nexus tablet which has been manufactured by Quanta Computer in association with Asus.
Given recent rumors that the company planned to reveal the gadget next week at Google I/O 2012, the news shouldn't be surprising. It also shouldn't be surprising that Google will take the Apple route and announce a product that is nearly readily-available to purchase at any retail outlet.
Shipments of the 7-inch Nexus tablet reportedly began this month, and units are slated to be available in the retail channel early July. The total number of shipments is expected to reach at least three million units by the end of the year, sources said.
Naturally to keep the tablet within the $199 realm, it won't feature 3G or LTE connectivity out of the box, nor will it have a rear-facing camera. But the suppliers confirmed that the 7-inch Nexus tablet will sport a front-facing camera for video calling, and a working version of Google's Chrome browser running on Android 4.1 "Ice Cream Sandwich."
Next week Asus chairman Jonney Shih will attend the Google I/O 2012 conference to jointly announce the tablet with Google. The manufacturer is also reportedly working on a low-priced 7-inch tablet of its own, priced between $159 and $179 USD and slated for an August release.
Google I/O will take place on June 27 - 29 at San Francisco's Moscone Center, so stay tuned.