Google’s $250 16GB Nexus 7 tablet disappeared from Google’s online Play store over the weekend due to overwhelming demand, according to an online report. A message on Google Play advises tablet shoppers to sign up for e-mail alerts to learn when the tablet is back in stock.
Google has not said why the 16GB Nexus 7 is no longer for sale, but anonymous sources “close to Google” told the Guardian that the search giant “seriously underestimated” demand.
Google appears to have been dealing with limited supplies of 16GB Nexus 7 devices for some time. The company recently answered concerns about when customers will get their new Google tablets by publishing a rough timetable for delivery. All 16GB devices ordered through the end of July 11 were supposed ship by July 20, and Google says remaining orders will be shipped by Friday, July 27.
Recently, stocks of the Nexus 7 were also proving difficult to find on local retail shelves. GameStop quit taking orders for the Nexus 7 shortly after the tablet started shipping in mid-July, and around the same time Staples announced it was sold out. Staples now lists the Nexus 7 as available in-store only and on special order, and GameStop lists the Nexus 7 16GB tablet as back-ordered.
As usual with any hot new tech item, eBay sellers are offering Nexus 7 devices at a premium for those unwilling to wait for more devices to ship.
While demand for the Nexus 7 is good news for Google, we're also hearing reports of display issues including backlight bleeding, touch responsiveness problems, and defective manufacturing. The Nexus 7 isn’t the first popular tech device to have production quality issues. When the iPhone 4 first debuted, some early customers reported yellow discoloration on the smartphone’s display that was later linked to residue from the manufacturing process. Similarly, some early buyers of the iPad 2 complained of backlight bleeding.
The $200 8GB Nexus 7 is available only through Google Play and is currently shipping within three to five days.