Up until now, to say that there is a tablet market has been a bit of a stretch. It?s really been the iPad market. Sure there have been other tablets out there, and as a mobile app development company we have pretty much purchased all of them for testing and evaluation. However, none of these tablets has ever left us with the feeling that there was worthy iPad competition in town. The Kindle Fire was the closest thing that we got excited about based on the idea of volume sales due to pricing. But now there is a tablet we actually feel is worth recognition… Google?s Nexus 7.
So is the Nexus 7 a competitor to the iPad? Absolutely in the sense that it is an alternative tablet that we feel really works. The new Jelly Bean operating system along with Project Butter takes much of the screen lag away from the user experience.
The Nexus 7 sells for $199 for 8GB configuration and $249 for 16GB. While it will certainly compete with the iPad from a pocketbook perspective, the device is a serious threat to Amazon and the Kindle Fire. Compare the device specifications between the two and for the same price its not even close. The Nexus 7 has a 7 inch 1280×800 pixel screen, quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3, front facing camera and Jelly Bean.
Of course the Apple rumor mill is predicting that a 7 inch iPad will be arriving shortly at around $249 price point which if true may work to reduce the pocketbook advantage that the Nexus 7 brings to the table.
The biggest complaint we have for the Nexus 7 is the lack of a rear facing camera. There are many business apps that we create that desire this kind of functionality. Hopefully this will be added into the next generation. The other thing that is yet to be available is support for cellular data (Nexus 7 is WiFi only).
So, how does this device play into the world of mobile strategy? Well, its certainly an affordable device, and it feels like Android has come a long way in the tablet space relative to where it was before. However, from a business tablet strategy perspective, iPad remains the initial device you must support. If the price point is the driving reason for considering Android platform then I would recommend holding on a few more months to see if there are any truth to the cheaper iPad mini rumors.