Nexus 8, a no-show at Google I/O, still on its way

The HTC-built tablet is in the works, CNET has learned.

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The Nexus 7 still awaits a successor. CNET

Google spent more than two hours and forty minutes unveiling a bevy of products, software, and features at its annual developer conference. The Nexus 8, unfortunately, wasn't in the mix.

The tablet was among the more eagerly anticipated announcements at Google I/O, seen as a potential upgrade to Google's Nexus 7 tablet, which was built by Asus and launched nearly two years ago.

The Nexus 8, however, was never supposed to debut at Google I/O, but is still on its way to the market, according to a person familiar with the device. The timing of the announcement remains unclear.

The Nexus 7 proved to be a hit with consumers looking for an affordable Android tablet, and helped Google cement its position in the market for smaller such devices. Its success likely prompted Apple to introduce its own lower-cost iPad Mini. But with the tablet badly in need of an update and competition among smaller tablets increasing, the Nexus 8 was seen as a badly needed upgrade.

An HTC representative declined to comment. CNET contacted Google for comment, and we'll update the story when the company responds.

For HTC, the Nexus 8 would be another bright spot for a company that has significantly slimmed down its product portfolio, with much of its hope riding on a few mass-market smartphones and its flagship HTC One M8.

The company previously attempted to build a tablet, the Android-powered HTC Flyer, but failed to make a mark with consumers. It was later altered and sold by Sprint as the HTC Evo View 4G, but it similarly saw a lukewarm response.

The Nexus 8 comes amid speculation that Google is scrapping the program in favor of creating an overall more consistent feel among all Android devices. Android KitKat, and the latest version unveiled at Google I/O, Android L, are expected to create a similar experience among all Android devices, whether they are expensive or low end.

Check here for all of today's Google I/O news.

 

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