Google is gearing up to launch a new version of its Nexus 7 tablet in the second half of 2013 that could be priced as low as $149, according to a Reuters report.

The news agency cites “sources with knowledge of the product” who say that the search giant is aiming to ship between 6-8 million units of the new tablet following a launch that could happen as early as July.

Pricing for the device has not yet been decided, but Reuters has some interesting, if at this stage, speculative, projections. According to its insider sources, the tablet could be priced as low as $149 per unit — with the original Nexus 7 then discontinued — or it could retain the $199 price tag, in which case the cost of the original Nexus 7 would be reduced to encourage competition with Apple’s iPad range (which retails at upwards of $300) and Amazon’s Kindles (which start at $159).

Reuters reports that the device will continue to be manufactured by Taiwan-based Asus, however the new version will include a significant change under the hood with a Qualcomm chip replacing the Nvidia Tegra 3 of the original Nexus 7.

Nvidia announced its Tegra 4 earlier this year and, though reports have found it to be quicker than Qualcomm’s fastest Snapdragon processor, “power reasons” are said to have been behind Google’s apparent switch.

Rumor of the potential price drops come weeks after Amazon was speculated to be working on a $99 Kindle Fire tablet. The company, which is know for low margins on its hardware, rejected the claims saying: “It’s not happening–we are already at the lowest price points possible for that hardware.”

That statement does leave the possibility that new hardware could come at that lower price point, and certainly a $149 Nexus  7 would put pressure on Amazon.

Headline image via tmray02 / Flickr