Nexus 7 2016 release date, specs news: New Google Nexus phones won't be running purely on Android; Nexus 7 being scrapped?

Android fans who have been anticipating the unveiling of the Nexus 7 (2016) for months are now wondering if the new Google offering will ever hit the market.

Promotional image for the Nexus 7 (2013) | ASUS

There had been expectations that the new midrange tablet would debut at the recently concluded Google I/O conference. When the long-awaited device did not appear at the event, Neurogadget theorized that Google had indefinitely shelved the tablet's launch, perhaps in favor of a new lineup of Google products.

During this year's I/O conference, which was held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California from May 18 to 20, the spotlight was on the latest Android operating system, the tentatively named Android N. While the Daydream, the Duo, the Google Home, and the Android Wear 2.0 were also introduced at the conference, there was no mention whatsoever of a Nexus 7 (2016).

Nonetheless, fans shouldn't lose hope just yet as other reports indicate that the Nexus 7 could be released after the new Android OS is rolled out, possibly in September.

A September release seems likely as it would coincide with the unveiling of the much-anticipated new iPhone and, by then, the Nexus 7 would come pre-installed with Android N.

Alternatively, the delay could be because Google is waiting to see how Android N turns out before they release the Nexus 7. According to BGR, the company could be looking at other options apart from Android and may even be planning on building their own stock ROM via the OS.

This theory appears to have been substantiated by recent remarks made by Google CEO Sundar Pichai. At the Code Conference earlier this month, Pichai said that Google is looking at being more hands-on in terms of the software for its upcoming Nexus lineup.

"You'll see us hopefully add more features on top of Android on Nexus phones," he said, as quoted by The Verge. "There's a lot of software innovation to be had."

According to Neurogadget, the 2016 iteration of the Nexus tablet is powered by a Snapdragon 820 processor and runs on 4 GB of random access memory. It will reportedly feature a 7-inch Quad HD resolution screen, an NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor, and a microSD card slot for storing files up to 2 TB.

Google has yet to announce the official release date for the Nexus 7 (2016).