Ming-Chi-Kuo [only] has Apple insight. He also predicted most of the Nexus products to Flop, but they never did. LG already makes the Nexus 4 (Pretty Darn Good) and the N7 Gen 2 already competes with Apple, Faster and better Display than the Ipad Mini. LG might be considered for the N7 G3 only after Asus said that the N7 almost broke them. I don't think Google will hop on the 8 Inch market quite yet though.
Who is listening to Ming-Chi-Kuo? He even did not have a PhD. degree.
Asus is the best for Google in our real PhD-CS guys' eyes.
Do not make "Rumor" as news unless this website has become National Enquirer's Gossip column.
You say ', but an 8 inch solution could prove to be just as popular.'. Yeah, just as popular as both the (7)inch and (10.1)inch, combined. I have an (8) inch Samsung (the note 8) and I think the 8 inch form factor will go 'viral'.