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A Nexus 7 move from Nvidia to Qualcomm could indicate LTE capabilities

Original Nexus 7

Original Nexus 7

Analyst and Pacific Crest partner Michael McConnell thinks the next-generation Google Nexus 7 will feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro chip chipset instead of Nvidia’s Tegra 4 SoC.

“We believe NVIDIA has lost the application processor socket to QUALCOMM’s Snapdragon APQ8064 chipset (S4 Pro) in the next-generation Google Nexus 7 tablet,” wrote McConnell in a memo, according to Barron’s blog.

Citing supply chain conversations, McConnell attributed the chipset move to competitive pricing and a “decision to single-source the application processor and 3G/4G modem to simplify logistics and create a fully pin-compatible platform interface.”

The switch is still in the ‘probably’ stage, but the S4 Pro’s better integration with 4G-modem tech, as McConnell suggested in his memo, indicates Google plans to add LTE capabilities to the upcoming Nexus 7 tablet. Although lacking LTE support, the current Nexus 7 is available unlocked with HSPA+ radios.

The analyst further claimed the next Nexus 7 would begin shipping in the second quarter of 2013. Such a timeline coincides nicely with Google’s I/O event in May, when a LTE Nexus 7 might get unveiled.

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