The day Google announced the $199 Asus Nexus 7 tablet, it told us the slate would ship in mid-July. Now, a series of retailer leaks suggest that the slate could arrive as early as the end of this week, depending on where you buy. It's particularly interesting to see how many brick and mortar retailers are interested in stocking the device themselves. While no store has committed to a specific ship date, Staples is teasing customers with an exceptionally vague shipping window right here:
Product will ship between July 12th and July 17th. Expected delivery: 1 - 3 business days, arriving no earlier than July 13th 2012.
Meanwhile, Office Depot (in a leaked memo obtained by Droid Life) says that shipments should begin July 12th, but doesn't seem to specify when they'll actually go on sale.
Here's one reason why the actual sale date might still be up in the air: We received a leaked memo from GameStop that suggests the video game retailer already has the tablets ready to go, but has been ordered not to actually sell any of its inventory until further notice. Note that the original sale date here was supposedly July 12th. We've confirmed the memo with three separate GameStop stores, and we just got this statement from GameStop PR:
Right now, we are waiting for ASUS and Google to coordinate and provide us with an official sell date. In partnership with them, we have instructed our stores to hold the merchandise and not sell until the vendor-approved date, much like we do with street-dated video games.
Nexus 7 pre-orders are in full swing but unfortunately don't get us any closer to a definitive release window. B&H currently lists an estimated arrival date of August 15th, though a representative we spoke with said shipments could begin sooner depending on when the retailer receives stock. Future Shop and Best Buy (in Canada) estimate an August 10th release date, while Dixons, Curry's and Ebuyer (in the UK) estimate July 19th, and Carphone Warehouse on July 27th. Adorama, Abt, and Fry's Electronics are also listing the slate. It's worth noting that all of these retailers mentioned above are only selling the pricier 16GB model, instead of the 8GB version that retails for $199 USD.
To our knowledge, the only store currently listing the 8GB model is Google's own Play storefront, which shows a 1-2 week wait time for the product as of this very day.
Update: Sam's Club has added pre-orders for the 16GB tablet; it's expected to ship between July 17th and 20th. One person has also reported being told that UPS already has the first round of tablets pre-ordered through the Play Store, and that early pre-order customers should soon be receiving an email with a tracking number.
Update 2: This post has been retired. See this one instead.
Thanks ju12zo and Oscar Garza!
Bryan Bishop contributed to this report.