Google’s Nexus 7 has gone on sale in Britain. Prices start at £199 for the 16GB version, while the 32GB one costs £239. In addition to Google’s Play Store, it is also available at Currys, Tesco, Argos, Amazon and John Lewis.
It is competitively priced. Although it’s based on a Qualcomm chip which is also used in the Nexus 4, the Nexus 7 features a 1920×1200 screen and as it is a Nexus device, software support is second to none. In many respects, it renders other cheap 7-inch tablets rather pointless, which is hardly great news for Google hardware partners. The Nexus 7 is now available in France, Germany and Spain, too. However, smaller markets will have to wait.
The Nexus 4 has been around for a while, but it is still a very competitive product. It might not have a 1080p screen or the latest greatest processor, but it’s a great workhorse and its build quality is still superior to any Samsung phone out there. Now it’s an even better deal, as Google slashed the price for the 8GB model to just £159, while the 16GB version now costs £239. If LTE isn’t a must have, the Nexus 4 is truly a steal for anyone who does not want to get bogged down in a two-year carrier deal.
Google is also expected to roll out a new Nexus 10 later this year and rumours of a Nexus 5 superphone are rampant. Let’s not forget the Moto X, either, although it is limited to the US market.
It’s all good news for Android fans and Google, but Google hardware partners are probably not amused. With such low prices, Nexus products are disruptive and they are hard to keep up with. They always get the latest updates and on the hardware front they offer great value, although they don’t tend feature the latest tech out there.
The only good bit news for other Android peddlers is that Google doesn’t appear to be trying too hard. Geeks love Nexus gear, but average people have no idea that it exists at all. Google is simply not marketing Nexus products properly, but this might be about to change. Googlerola recently announced that it would spend a few hundred million dollars on Moto X marketing and if Google starts marketing Nexus products just as aggressively, well then, anything could happen.
Apple’s share of the tablet market appears to be at an all-time low, thanks to strong competition from cheap and cheerful Android tablets.
Despite the slump, Apple still remains the biggest player in the tablet market, but it is no longer the only outfit in town.
According to Trend Force, iPad sales dipped from 17 million to 14.6 million units last quarter. It ended the quarter with a 35.5 percent market share. Samsung ranked second with 8.8 million units and a 21.4 percent share. This is rather surprising, since Samsung’s tablets tend to be overpriced and overhyped.
Asus wound up in a distant third spot, with shipments of 1.6 million and a 3.9 percent market share. Acer wasn’t far behind, with 1.5 million units and a 3.6 percent share. Amazon ranked fifth with 1.1 million units and a 2.7 percent share.
Microsoft and Google in next, at 0.9 million and 0.7 million respectively and the figures are surprising to say the least. Google’s Nexus 7 was supposed to be a cheap, high volume device, but it seems it was outpaced even by Microsoft’s Surface tablets.
It should be noted that Apple is gearing up to introduce the fifth generation iPad and the second generation iPad mini. It current line-up is rather dated and the new iPads could turn things around. Google introduced the new Nexus 7 last week and it is getting some very positive reviews as we speak.
However, we believe the most interesting number in the report has nothing to do with Apple, Samsung or Google. Makers of white-box tablets sipped 9.7 million units last quarter, for a combined market share of 23.5% percent. In other words for every Surface RT or Nexus 7 tablet sold last quarter, nameless Chinese manufacturers sold ten of their equally nameless tablets.
Tablet makers are set to roll out the next generation of cheaper tablets over the coming weeks and it is now clear that competition in the cutthroat market will intensify in the second half of the year.
Google’s Nexus 4 has been on sale for three months, although one could argue that it has been on sale for a couple of weeks, since it wasn’t really available anywhere. For some reason, Google grossly underestimated demand for its latest vanilla Android phone, resulting in ridiculous shortages in every single market.
Android enthusiasts managed to work out that Google shipped just a million units in the first three months of sales, after four months in production.