We just posted some internal photos from Staples showing that the 32GB Nexus 7 is, indeed, making its way into retail stockrooms. And that's exciting. What we didn't show you, though, was one more photo from our intrepid office supply tipster, which contains some rather juicy information regarding the fate of the 8GB version of the Nexus 7. Take a look.
This is exactly what it appears to be: aisle end cap instructions for the upcoming holiday season. Thrilling. But look down to the "Notes" section at the bottom - there's some very intriguing stuff going on.
"Effective 10/30 SKU 949286 (Nexus 7" 8GB) will be clearance." If you're not aware, Staples has been one of the few brick and mortar locations selling the 8GB version of Google's tablet in the US. But sold it they have, and basically since launch (along with OfficeDepot). On October 29th, Google is having an Android event in New York, and it's there that we fully expect the 32GB Nexus 7 to be announced (along with a lot of other interesting things).
What's interesting about this Staples document, then, is the timing - the clearance won't start until the day after Google's announcement. Coincidence? Yeah right. There's also a note indicating that many Staples locations may not have any remaining 8GB Nexus 7s (and they don't - go look yourself), telling them not to "triple tag" - obviously some sort of retail jargon - the SKU if there are none in stock. This would lead one to the logical conclusion that they will not be getting additional stock in the future. The end cap doc also shows the 16GB version as part of the updated retail display, which would point to it being available for the foreseeable future - not discontinued as some have suggested.
And if you head over to the Staples website and do a local availability check for the 8GB version, I'm guessing you'll get the same results I did for every Staples store in a 100 mile radius: "Low stock clearance item." I also tried the Office Depot site, and the most I saw was "1 in stock" at a few locations, which may just be a placeholder number.
The one reasonable alternative explanation here is that Google is simply going to sell the 8GB Nexus 7 through the Play Store only from now on. But we just don't think that's very likely. It seemed absolutely absurd to all of us from day one that Google would ditch the 16GB Nexus 7, and offer only the 8GB and 32GB versions. This has definitely assuaged our fears in that regard.
So, tl;dr - the 8GB Nexus 7 looks to be dead, and the 16GB will now walk in it stead. For how much, we aren't certain ($200 seems likely enough), but definitely less than it costs now.