The iPad has become the standard for tablets in the tech world. As a proud owner of the iPad 3, I can say with certainty that Apple’s tablets had no competition when I purchased my device. Retina technology made the iPad gorgeous, and graphics and games have always been extremely clear and life-like. When you’re turning your iPad from left to right and using it as a steering wheel in “Real Racing HD,” you don’t know if you’re driving on an imaginary highway or a real one.
Google, however, manufactured and released its Google Nexus 7 tablet in the summer of 2012 – and consumers purchased as many as they could get their hands on. The tablet became an instant sensation with its “panorama” mode that lets you view more than just what you see on the screen (you can turn the camera to the sides to see what is behind your view, and so on). It came with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, at a time when few smartphones and tablets had Android 4.1.1. Google’s tablet made the Google experience appear as the most coveted of all Android experiences, and many were willing to purchase the tablet after seeing its relative inexpensive nature (16GB for $199, 32GB for $249). Brian Tong of CNET placed the Google Nexus 7 above the iPad Mini in terms of price, value, and overall package. Google’s Nexus 10 still has a ways to go, but the Nexus 7 was one victory in Google’s favor.
The Nexus 7 has now received another honor: a recent survey found that Google’s Nexus 7 and the Android OS has overtaken Apple’s popularity in Japan. According to Today’s IPhone,
“A survey of 2,400 electronic stores across the country showed the Nexus 7 captured 44.4 percent of the market in December, while Apple’s share came in at 40.1 percent. The firm noted that the iPad has been the top-selling tablet in Japan since its launch in 2010” (iPad outsold by Google Nexus 7 in Japan).
The victory is slim (just 4 percent), but it is enough of a victory for Google and its customers to rejoice. Apple’s tablet sales in Japan, coupled with the decrease in iPhone loyalty both here and in Europe, sends a chilling thought that Apple, despite its impressive numbers, is still losing in the long-term. Japan is just the start of a wave of Google demand that will fight Apple in every place on the planet. There may come a day when “Google” is viewed as the top brand, not Apple.
The Nexus 7 could also see a younger brother sometime soon. According to a commenter at the Korean forum Ruliweb, Google will produce a Nexus 7.7 tablet this year. The tablet is called “7.7” because it will have a 7.7-inch screen for viewing movies and books. This is where we could see Google take on Apple’s iPad Mini directly. While the 7-inch Google Nexus has done well, Apple’s iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch screen and is more of an 8-inch tablet than a 7-inch. Google’s new 7.7-inch will edge the temperature up a notch as the Mountain View, California company hits Apple where it hurts – in its iPad Mini sales. Google will also produce a Nexus 5 smartphone to add to its Nexus 4 lineup. The Nexus 5 may come pre-loaded with Android 5.0, Key Lime Pie. Still, the specs and features have not yet been supplied – so we can only hope and wait for Google’s new announcements at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) next month.