If you have ordered a Nexus 7 Tablet from Google recently, you may have to wait a longer than Google has said, possibly.
While we thought we knew all of the guts in the Nexus 7 tablet when ifixit disassembled the tablet, a curious owner of a Nexus 7 tablet has recently discovered that Google’s Nexus 7 tablet has a magnetic sensor on the device that is similar to the Apple’s iPad smart cover sensor. Reports are showing that the sensor is located on the bottom left hand side of the device when displayed in portrait mode. While Google sells covers for the nexus 7 tablet, we still do not know if the covers have a magnet to support the feature; though ASUS calls it a “smart cover”.
This discovery might make Apple send their lawyers at the Nexus 7 tablet manufacturers. The iPad was one of the early manufacturer to use a smart cover functionality, starting with the iPad 2. Though Apple has a patent on the smart cover magnetic system, the patent is very specific about the system and not that broad. In the Apple patent on the Smart Cover, they focuses more on the ability to latch onto the device rather than turning its display off and on, but based on Apple recent past histories of suing Android manufacturers over patent infringements, it is hard to say.
It may be possible that Google and ASUS is off the hook on the magnetic sensor feature on the device, although Apple has been on massive suing games. It may be possible that Apple will file a patent infringement on the device and result in a delay on the shipments of the nexus 7 tablet, like the current Samsung vs Apple court battle right now. Based on Apple past track, they will most likely sue ASUS and not Google for the infringements. Either way, if Apple files a patent infringement, the Nexus 7 tablet will be delayed.