Google's Nexus 7 could force Apple's hand on 'iPad Mini'
Apple doesn't have the luxury of ignoring the 7-in. tablet market, says one analyst
Computerworld - Google's new Nexus 7 tablet may be aimed more at Amazon and its Kindle Fire than Apple and its iPad, but Apple will not be able to ignore the low-end of the tablet market dominated by 7-in. devices, analysts said today.
"They're going to have to care about that market," said James McQuivey of Forrester Research. "I don't think Apple will have the luxury of ignoring the [7-in.] form factor entirely."
Earlier today, Google unveiled the Nexus 7, a 7-in. tablet manufactured by ASUS, that is now available for pre-order, with tablets shipping in mid-July. Prices for the Nexus 7 range from $199 for an 8GB device to $249 for a 16GB model.
Those prices, as well as almost every specification and feature Google revealed today, had been leaked before the kick-off of the Google I/O developer conference.
"It's a sweet device, there's no doubt about that, but it's more aimed at Amazon than at Apple," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "It's an aggressively-priced tablet."
Amazon's Kindle Fire, which the e-tailing giant launched late last year, is also a 7-in. tablet that starts at $199. Analysts now expect Amazon to update the Fire in the next few weeks.
But the Nexus 7 isn't taking on the iPad, 9.7-in. tablet, which starts at $499, or even last year's iPad 2, which Apple continues to sell in a 16GB configuration for $399.
"They're not going after Apple...at the moment," said Michael Gartenberg of Gartner. "But they're definitely competing with the Fire."
"Google has nothing [in the Nexus 7] on the iPad, of course," echoed McQuivey.
But the entry of Google, the success -- especially during the 2011 holiday season -- of the Fire, and the increased attention by rivals to the 7-in. form factor will force Apple to launch its own tablet in that size later this year, said the analysts.
Rumors that Apple will debut a 7-in. version of the iPad, dubbed by many the "iPad Mini" -- perhaps a sop to the Mac Mini desktop computer it sells -- have circulated almost since the 2010 launch of the first-generation iPad.
Increasingly, analysts have concluded that Apple will reveal such a device. Today's announcement by Google has pushed their opinions to the "certainty" line on the probability meter.
"[The Nexus 7] makes it even more important that Apple has a reasonable response," said Gottheil, who predicted that Apple will launch an iPad Mini this fall, before the start of the end-of-year sales season, at a price point between $249 and $299.
Google's debut of the Nexus 7 won't change Apple's plans, said Gottheil, who is one of the experts who has long-believed Apple will make a move into the smaller format. But it will focus their attention, added McQuivey.
"Between the Fire and the Nexus 7, 10 to 12 million of these will be in people's hands by the end of the year," said McQuivey. "That will pale in comparison with the iPad numbers, but Apple will start to feel it."
- Google announces social sharing done right
- Has Google done enough to keep Android phones up-to-date?
- Google sharpening Analytics' tracking of mobile applications
- Chrome for iOS snatches top spot on App Store
- At first birthday, has Google+ found its niche?
- Google gives Google Docs offline capabilities
- Google touts Chrome browser in demo of Cirque virtual 3D Web site
- Lack of features could hamper Nexus 7's market entry, say analysts, users
- Google launches Chromebook retail push via Best Buy
- Google touts release of 'Safari-ized' Chrome for iPhone, iPad
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- 4 Customers who never have to refresh their PCs again This paper illustrates a common theme: the combination of desktop virtualization and thin client computing helps organizations deliver an up-to-date user experience more...
- Mobile Devices: The New Thin Clients Get essential guidance for understanding the role thin clients plus virtual desktops play in the enterprise today.
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- PaaS - Powering a New Era of Business IT Why PaaS has suddenly become relevant and irresistible to many organizations. Dive into the opportunities and considerations associated with using PaaS from an...
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have. All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts