'Nexus 7 3G' rumored for launch within weeks

Google and ASUS' Nexus 7 tablet has been met with considerable success over the past couple of months, but so far it's only been available with Wifi connectivity, with no cellular data option offered to consumers. But that may be about to change if the latest round of rumors from veteran mobile blog MoDaCo​ are to be believed. 

According to ​MoDaCo's​ Paul O'Brien, a "very well-placed source" is saying that a "Nexus 7 3G" is indeed in the works, with a launch due in around six weeks time. Interestingly, such a launch timeframe could put the device up against Apple's 7-inch iPad (or 'iPad mini'), which is expected to be announced  on Sept. 12 and released in mid-October.

MoDaCo's source says there are "no other hardware changes," besides the addition of a cellular radio, and that territories for launch, as well as the exact release date, have ye to be confirmed. Pricing, too, remains unknown at this time, but Nexus 7 buyers can probably expect to pay a small premium over the Wifi-only version.

Would you be willing to fork out a little more for 3G connectivity on your Nexus 7? Let us know down in the comments!

Source: MoDaCo

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Just to confirm, it should read 6 months...
  • In think its supposesupposed to be Six WEEKS. All other reports have put the timeframe in weeks.
  • MoDaCo's soure says six weeks, not six months.
  • The article says 6 months
  • Sorry...The article original read 6 months and I was supposed to say it should read 6 weeks.... Anyhoo, equilibrium has now been restored....
  • I certainly would have waited and paid more for the device with the cellular option. I'm starting to feel betrayed.
  • +1
  • You've got to be kidding (about the betrayed part).
  • Really? Betrayed? That's pretty sad. Early adoption can suck sometimes. I'll possibly just sell the one I have and buy the 3G one. First tablet that 3G makes sense to me, since I have it all the time.
  • Yeah the 7" ones are the netbooks of tablets - smaller but more likely to be taken places. I was about to buy an 8gig to use with my pocket wifi thingy but guess I'll wait to see what they're charging for the 3g one.
  • This is why i did not want to buy the N7, it was lacking the cellular option wich i need, anyway i hope it is true.
  • Oh my God!!!! Where do I sign up for preorders? This is just the right nudge for me to pick this baby up!!!!!
    But I see how this makes sense. With people using this tab everywhere, 3g would free you for looking for a wifi connection every time. Hope they maintain the same price point
    Good guy google listens to consumer feedback...
  • I have a less than a week old N7, and I must say, had I known about this, I still would not have waited for it. I went for the 8 GB version, and while HD movies and games like NOVA3 cause issues with the limited internal storage (they fill it too fast), I didn't want to pay 50€ for the extra capacity. The main selling point of the N7 is that it offers excellent value for money. A 3g version would require me to pay for yet another contract (and here, in Spain true unlimited is unknown, and throttled unlimited requires you to sign up with companies that will gouge you). I can get the 3g fix by tethering my phone to it. Mind you, if the 16 GB model came with 3g built in, that would completely justify the price.
  • +1 ... the 8gig is the one to get. Its a content consumption device.
  • I got my Nexus 7 and few weeks ago and I can honestly say that had a 3G version been available, I still would have bought the wifi version. I've already got an expensive data contract for my S3, why would I want another? If I want to use my N7 out and about, I simply create a wifi hotspot on the S3 and connect to it... for a few seconds of inconvenience it's totally worth it! Additionally, as and when the mobile operators begin rolling out 4G here in the UK, I wouldn't want to be stuck with a great little tablet that can only connect to much slower 3G. This way, when I get a new 4G enabled phone, I can still connect to it using the N7. A little bit of future proofing... :)
  • While they are adding features: why not include a micro-sd-card slot? Until that's fixed, this model is out of the question for me.
  • Would 32 GB variant make you happy? My thinking is this: as far as removable storage and removable batteries go, you don't need them as long as the built in storage (see CDMA Galaxy Nexus) and battery (see Droid RAZR MAXX, though that's kind of overkill) are big enough.
  • I'm perfectly happy with my N7 the way it is. I have 4G on my phone, not 3G, and just use the WiFi hotspot and it's fast enough for me. Like others, why would I want to pay for another plan just to use slower 3G plus pay extra money for the N7 with 3G? With an unlimited 4G data plan on my phone (with no throttling or cap) I can use the WiFi hotspot and save money rather than paying extra for something that isn't necessary. How many people actually need a second data plan exclusively for their tablet when most have a WiFi hotspot feature on their phone already? Certainly not me. I'd rather pay extra for a 32GB N7 with WiFi (if they made one, of course) than a 16GB one with 3G.
  • Enough people for the carriers to have separate data-only plans... I'm not saying it's the most popular of their options, but I'm sure Apple manages to sell adequate quantities of their 3G iPad to keep manufacturing them. Having a 3G Nexus tab could be just what the doctor ordered for lots of folks. It's probably also in response to complaints about inadequate storage. It "solves" that problem as far as Google's desires are concerned...namely Google Cloud access.
  • I'd be happy if Google just got there heads out of their butts and fixed the current major bug that prevents the WIFI units from connecting to many WPA Enterprise level wifi networks. Over 2 months and not a word from Google. Buying a Nexus 7 I expected problems to be patched quickly, doesn't appear so.
  • Is that a known issue? I've got multiple WPA-Enterprise networks I connect to, never once had an issue.
  • I've had issues (along with most other users) of not being able to connect to secured wifi networks...although this might be because I didn't have their passwo...I mean permission.
  • If it happened to have a Verizon radio (LTE preferred...) I'd potentially sell my current N7 for it. My use-case is a bit different for it though. I mostly use it for in-car music, GPS, and keeping track of work email while I'm out at lunch if said place has WiFi. I'd prefer the less-hassle of having to deal with offline navigation and/or some places not having WiFi for the extra bit of money every month. However, I can easily see how that wouldn't be desirable for many people!
  • Being on VZW I would just keep my WiFi version to keep getting updates. They are too slow to roll out the updates.
  • I could see this happening but Google should have done like a Mobile Data Plan for there Google Fiber or something...
  • I have my nexus and I am happy. 3G is just another cost. With all these hang out places starting to offer WiFi I don't see the point for paying monthly fee.
  • wait....3g??? fuck you, asus!! we live in a 4g lte world and you offer the latest nexus up in tech from 2 years ago?? suck it!
  • Completely agree. Who gives an F about 3G? Its so slow and outdated there is no point to it. VZW 3g in the Los Angeles is so piss slow that most times when I am on 3G I just say forget it and wait til I am back on 4G before I use data.
  • Ditto. 3G is a waste of time. 4G is where it's at today. I'm sure that they're doing 3G to try to keep costs down, but damn...
  • A lot of places do not have 4G yet and may not for some time to come. Verizon just started 4G here a couple of months ago and so far they are the only ones. Both AT&T and T-Moble have only HSDPA which is basicly 3G.
  • The biggest problem, by far, with releasing a "3G" version is that it is probably going to be locked to a SINGLE carrier. So which will it be? Sprint? Verizon? T-Mobile? AT&T? Something else? No matter which they choose, they are going to piss off at least 50% of consumers.
  • It can be unlocked SIM to work on both AT&T and T-Mobile.
  • Most likely AT&T. The first iPad was the same. It's not like a phone, a tablet would be a new (not likely on contract) plan that didn't have to be with the same carrier.
  • This might be an extra reason to buy the N7 now :)
  • It is always good to have options. For the average consumer who doesn't know how to mess with tethering, this is a good option. Some people even have these who don't have smartphones (gasp!).
  • IF 3G is a "BONUS" Feature .... If the implementation of 3G was a bonus feature that was (as a service) include as part of the purchase price or very reduced rate due to slower speeds, this would be a fantastic addition. Think "The Original Kindle" -- the data service was included in the price and was simply always on for one's use. In this mindset, the WiFi would still be the primary data connection to the world but as an individual was to travel around for example, in a car (using the Nexus 7 as a GPS unit) or wanted to quickly review and respond to e-mails with WiFi not accessible, the inclusion of 3G would be a perfect bridge-gap at to allow continued use of online dependent services and apps. In this way, the 3G service would not be targeted for use of streaming videos, downloading games, or other high-bandwidth activities but rather, this new feature is probably heavily grounded on keeping a certain price point -- just my guess of course. At this time, in targeting to keep the prices affordable, having a built-in 4G Connection including the service rates they are today, the consumer is talking about paying IPad Retail Prices, no longer somewhere between $200 - $300, plus whatever the monthly fee would be for 4G. Again I would suggest, if competitively priced and at a great monthly service rate, the inclusion of 3G service to provide a bridge would be a fantastic bonus.
  • I had to RMA my Nexus 7 and send it back because it just kept freezing in a very noisy fashion and required that the Power Button be pressed in for a minute or so after the crash. By all appearances it appeared dead otherwise. The RMA process is simple but it's been weeks now and support tell me I just have to be patient. However I'll probably buy another Nexus 7 when-and-if I ever get my money back :-/ (I need something to put in the now-empty case). I reckon I was just unlucky with mine. The state it arrived in was as though TNT had been playing footy with it.
  • Again, a 3G tablet is answering a question 98% of consumers are not asking. Where's the 32Gb N7 SKU? Where is a 9"or 10" version?
    Will the battery capacity be bumped up at all from the wi-fi version? Look, the N7 is awesome at $199 and very solid for $249 but anything past that and its budget roots are too exposed without any sort of spec bump. Releasing a 3G version without improving any other spec on the list makes a 3G N7 look like a cheap Apple-style cash grab IMO.
  • Simply put, the 7 inch size is much more portable, and easy to use for long periods of time. I have seen many posts about people using their iPad (or large tablet) less and less due to the awkwardness of the large form factor when compared to the smaller and easier to handle 7 inch. As well, the connected world we live in is pushing more and more in the direction of smaller on-device storage and more toward having online/cloud storage accessible anytime through data However there is one nice thing I should mention. No one is forcing anyone to buy the 3G N7. Or any tablet for that matter. If you want a larger screen, go buy one. If you want a lower price point, look at the devices in your price point. If you want to go all out? Heck buy yourself a 17 inch ultrabook, the latest and greatest 10inch tab, a smaller 7 inch tab, whatever is the "best" smartphone out at the moment, and lug it all with you, so you always have the "best" device for your current need and it's always with you. Its all up to you. Vote with your wallet man. If the N7 doesn't fit your needs/wants/dreams, don't buy it. Buy what you want. If you already bought it and are pissed off -- sell it and get the 3G version, or buy a 10 inch tab/3G/4G/keyboard dock aka Transformer.
  • I love how, if you want something, suddenly 98% of the consumers do to. If you don't, 98% of consumers don't. Where's your (not anecdotal) market research?
  • Count me in as your so called 2% who are asking for a 3G tablet from Google. I have many times wanted the ability to check email news etc without a smartphone. If you ask all the dumbphone owners (yes they still are loads of those) I bet a lot of them would want one too. And don't forget that many so called wifi hotspots like in Starbucks, are included in T-mobile's no contract monthly broadband plans.
  • Not paying for another data plan for this. N7 plus using phone as wifi hotspot works for me. Most places I go has wifi so I don't even use much data on my phone.
  • I can only speak for myself, but my Nexus 7 is nothing more than a toy, a great toy, but a toy none the less. Thus WiFi connectivity is fine for a toy as about any place I am going to play with my toy has WiFi available (airports, hotels, Panera type places, etc. and I am not about to start a new DATA line just to ensure that I have DATA in almost any place for my toy. Dan
  • Well, this is a nice surprise! I haven’t bought one yet. Sure, it would be nice to see it loaded with 4G, but remember… there are places where 4G doesn’t exist and 3G is all there is.
    Secondly, 3G is certainly a lot faster then no data connection at all (assuming you can’t find WiFi… which once you’re away from larger centers isn’t as common as you’d like either)
    Sure, you can tether it to your phone (If you have that option) but some Canadian carriers don’t like that too much unless you go for a larger data bucket or find a plan that does allow tethering.
    I’ll keep an eye on this. If they keep the price relatively close to the current wifi-only models, I might just go grab one. (And if not, I’ll settle for the wifi model which should work just fine for me!)
  • I think its great that consumers will finally see exactly how much carriers mark up the prices for merchandise. How is it that Asus can bring out a product with 4 times as much hardware as a regular phone for $200, but we pay triple that price for a phone? Gonna be tough considering the carriers have their current tablet lineup (which comparatively sucks) - with no contract prices over $400.
  • I just tether mine to my Galaxy Nexus *shrug*
  • Which of course drains two batteries instead of just one and requires extra steps to start each time. That's more batteries to buy and keep track of, if they can even be swapped. If they can't be swapped that's a single battery that needs to be watched like a hawk. No big deal for some, PITA for others. There are more people on this planet who just want things to be dead simple and convenient than you might realize.
  • Same here. No point in 3G, when I can tether to my 4G LTE G.Nex.
  • If I was desperate enough to use a tablet while in a area of no wifi I would just tether it to my phone which has unlimited data.
  • I replaced my galaxy tab 10.1 with the nexus 7 (the nexus 7 is less, um.. obvious while riding the train and stuff. lol!) My tab was the tmobile one with 4g. I instead just got a 4g hotspot from t-mobile and i still get internet anywhere i go.
    Not sure i would pay for a 3g model. (Not HSPA+?).
  • for me the 3G model is not important than extra Micro-SD slot model :((
  • If the 3G service was cheap (included even?) I'd be all over it. Love my N7.
  • Here are the changes I'd like to see
    1) an option with more onboard storage, at least 64gb
    2) Dual speakers with much better quality
    3) Both front and back facing cameras of excellent quality
    4) They should make the darned thing thinner
    These are my major gripes with it.
  • I kinda like how it doesn't have a rear camera, I mean do tablets really need a rear camera when we most likely already have a better quality camera on our phone or dedicated camera?
  • I'm wishing for
    1. Better speakers to match or exceed Kindle Fire HD
    2. Dual antennae to help with weak WiFi
    3. Anti-reflective coating on screen
    4. Fix the 10-13 GB problem on my current 16 GB device. I paid for it already and they owe it to us! Having said that, I really like my n7. Still debating whether I'd rather have a KF HD 7" though.
  • How do I delete a comment in this forum? I can edit, but can't find a way to delete.
  • This is coming from someone who DOES NOT HAVE a smartphone. I would get the 3G Nexus 7 assuming google sells it unlocked from its google store. Most comments here seem to whine about getting a second dataplan or tethering to your phone etc.... There are LOADS of people who still don't have or want a smartphone but would love to have a tablet that can check emails, read news etc. without a wifi. Lots of people assume you have to go postpaid with a 3g device. I plan to go for T-mobile's $30 monthly 4G no contract or Simple Mobile's $25 no contract data prepaid. I really hope that Google sells the Nexus 7 3G unlocked and at a reasonable price, I see no reason why they would not seeing they already sell the Galaxy Nexus phone unlocked anyway.
  • Yes. Whatever I can wait 6+ weeks for a new device is another story. I've got no phone.
  • I would buy one if the 3G was included in the reasonable purchase price. Otherwise, I will not add another bill for tablet connectivity.
  • Tether from your phone, one phone bill many other devices. I buy WiFi for all my tablets and tether. Problem solved.
  • I just picked up a Nexus 7 yesterday, but no I would not be interested in a 3G version as I'll primarily be using it at home on Wi-Fi (instead of using a laptop). Even for those times when I may use it away from home, I'll just tether it to my rooted Thunderbolt with grandfathered unlimited data (on LTE). :)
  • I'm assuming since its 3G it will prob be an unlocked GSM device. Well since neither AT&T or T-Mobile work very well at home and not at all at work (PHX Sky Harbor Airport) there is no point in my picking up the 3G model. Especially since those are the places I use my N7 95% of the time. I'd rather just tether my N7 to my VZ Gnex cuz at least I know that will work almost everywhere.
  • this, is interesting i think i would definetly prefer that model