Nexus 7 owners were quick to scope out what Google describes in the manual as the “4-pin connector”. Alas, up to now we have only had rumors of what the 4 pins were designed to connect to. Report are surfacing from Japan that the 4 pins connect to an audio dock from the maker of the Nexus 7 Asus. The Google translation of the page is here. The dock itself appears to be a chunk of plastic that looks like it is designed to hold up the Nexus 7 in landscape mode, which makes sense considering that the pins are on the long edge. As the image form the Asus site indicates, there are connections for a mini USB plug, whichjs is likely for power, and a 3.5mm jack to the speakers of your choice. Not much else on offer, and one has to marvel just a bit at why it has taken so many months for this to come out. Not only that, but why Asus and Google seem to be a bit close mouthed about allowing 3rd party accessory makers at the specifications since so one else has come out with anything similar to date. Interestingly the Asus/Japan site states that in order to use the dock, the nexus 7 has to be running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and the dock has to be connected to a power supply via the mini USB, which makes sense for charging your tablet but pretty much rules out any role other than a charging station with speaker connections. At present, there appears to be no provision for a keyboard, other than the existing Bluetooth connection scheme.
So just how much will this dock cost and when can we expect it? Apparently Google’s marketing department thought a Christmastime deployment was not on. There is no mention of the audio dock to be found on any of the usual UK o US Google retailers nor has anything yet been announced. formally,even in Japan. According to the Asus website, the dock is currently out of stock in Japan and is priced at 3,480 yen, or about £25, excluding VAT. Sources speculate that early 2013 is the earliest that the UK is likely to see the audio dock on offer. The abject failure to offer an easy holiday gift to your Nexus 7 owning friend or family member is yet another indication of pressing need for Google to employ some marketing talent as soon as possible to the Nexus team