Friday, 3 August 2012

Google Nexus 7: iPad killer?

Simple answer; no. But the most significant competitor? Absolutely. The problem with the natural comparison with the iPad is its unfair on the Nexus 7. This is not supposed to compete in the same bracket as the iPad but a comparison has to be made to make it relevant in the eyes of the consumer. I'm going to try and focus as much as possible just on the Nexus 7 without doing much direct comparison.

What has been made clear with the launch of the Nexus 7 is the importance of price point. Apple have been undercut, significantly, by a good product. It's targeted, and clearly engaged with the large numbers of consumers who have, thus far, failed to justify the £400 cost of a tablet. The size of the tablet isnt the key feature. The HTC Flyer, initially priced at around £600, proves this. Consumers need to feel value for money. With the Nexus 7 the value is there, and more. It was the same with the Kindle Fire's success. This is also key behind the failure of any other Android to mount a serious challenge to the iPad. The Motorola Xoom, Asus Transformer, Samsung Galaxy Tab have all fallen simply because if someone is going to part with £400 then they feel more comfortable doing that with the iPad.

Does the quick adoption of the Nexus 7 also say something about the development of the Android platform? I believe so. Jelly Bean has the slick, but reliable base that iOS fans crave, yet it adds customisation; Particularly with widgets. It's this reliability that Android has added to the platform from 4.0 (ICS) to Jelly Bean that is winning over consumers in both tablets and mobile phones.
     The other interesting positive review that we're seeing is the size and feel. Il be the first to admit that I've always thought the best size for a tablet is around the 10" mark but the Nexus 7 has made me consider differently. Not only this, the sleek, metallic body that has become synonymous with the iPad has been exchanged for a fascinating rubbery rear casing. It's more practical. Doesn't scratch, easier to hold etc.
     Ive heard complaints that there is no option for 3G capability. I fail to understand the concern. With Wireless Tethering a phone acts as a router. Hey presto, no need for mobile data on the tablet! (Also, how many of us can afford an extra, largely unnecessary, contract?) I can't help feel these criticisms are emanating from an Apple fanbase who harbor concerns... (TechCrunch take note...).

The Nexus 7 has quite rightly been gaining rave reviews. And for £150 its hard to complain. This clearly worries Apple hence Apple's response with the apparently imminent launch of the iPad mini. That is when the real battle commences. But until then, the Nexus 7 is a practical tablet option in all senses of the word as it has avoided the temptation to head towards the excessive, greedy features of other tablets. It is a practical size, its practical to use and importantly its a practical price. If you want a tablet primarily for media and entertainment, maybe the Nexus 7 isn't for you. The screen quality doesn't match the 'New iPad' for example. But if you want a tablet for surfing the net, reading, casual gaming etc, then the Nexus 7 is a sensible choice.

If you are happy to part with <£600 for a tablet, then the iPad is still the best choice as a high-end tablet. But few could blame you for saving a few hundred quid and buying a practical alternative in the Nexus 7.

Thoughts, comments, criticisms all encouraged!

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