) announced its much-awaited debut into the tablet segment with the
launch of its $199 tablet computer, Nexus 7. The move appears to be
a direct challenge to
), while adding yet another challenger to market leader
The tablet market has already turned into a battlefield with the
presence of tablet makers such as
Research In Motion Ltd.
), Samsung and
Cisco Systems Inc.
) to name a few.
) also jumped on the bandwagon with the launch of Surface. Of
course, Apple leads the pack in terms of unit shipments with its
Like Amazon's Kindle Fire, Google's Nexus 7 is competitively priced
and has a 7-inch screen. Through this device, consumers can read
digital books, listen to songs, consume other digital media and
enjoy various other services that Google's Play service offers.
Nexus 7 uses a new version of Google's Android software, Jelly
Bean, and uses
) Tegra mobile processor that enables longer battery life and
significant advantages in playing game software. As per Google,
Nexus 7 will be manufactured by its hardware partner Asustek
Google will start taking orders on Nexus 7 now, but shipments for
the device are expected to start from mid-July. Initially, the
device will be launched in the United States, Australia, Canada and
the United Kingdom.
Android tablets are already available from companies such as
Samsung Electronics Co., HTC Corp. and Motorola Mobility Holdings
Inc., acquired by Google for $12.5 billion last month. Amazon's
7-inch-display Kindle Fire tablet also runs on Google's operating
system while featuring many of its own services, music as well as
Some analysts at Gartner Inc. expect the Nexus tablet to compete
with the Kindle Fire, given its attractive price, sleek feature,
varied services and content offerings.
Nexus 7 will be the first tablet to get Google's Nexus designation.
In the past, Google has worked with manufacturers such as Samsung
for Nexus smartphones to highlight the best features of Android
software. But unfortunately, Google had to close it down due to
weakening margins and strong competition.
Hence, we believe that though its recent purchase of Motorola
Mobility will expand its expertise in wireless technology and
handset design, Google will not get into the handset hardware
business as it will likely pull down its margins. However, the
benefits of an integrated approach to hardware and software cannot
be overlooked going by Apple's success in recent years.
So far, Apple has managed to maintain its leadership position in
the tablet market. Market research firm Gartner expects Apple
and its iPad to remain the global tablet leader through at least
2016, even if it loses some market share.
The iPad will account for an estimated 46% of shipments in 2016,
down from a projected 61% this year. Google's Android-based tablets
will account for 37% by 2016, up from 32%.
Google also introduced a ball-shaped computing device called the
Nexus Q, which was internally designed to stream music and videos
from Google's YouTube video service and its Play service. The Q
device will cost $299 and will start shipping from next month.
Though Google is a market leader in online advertising, it has been
trying to explore the mobile space and compete with Microsoft and
others. We view Google's decision to manufacture its own tablet as
another bold move, designed to compete with Apple as it continues
to encroach on the Internet-search giant's territory with major
Earlier this month, Apple introduced a number of new software
products, including a mapping service that would replace Google
Maps as the default system for Apple devices.
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