Google's newest connected device, the Nexus 7 tablet, showed up at retailers on Friday the 13th of July and went out the doors almost as fast as employees could shelve them.
They also started arriving in some -- but not nearly enough -- mailboxes for those who ordered early.
The powerful new tablet, designed primarily as a gateway to Google services and for selling movies, music, TV and other goods supplied by Google advertisers, immediately became the hottest hardware release in the company's history.
Swift Processor, Operating System
The 7-inch tablet, featuring a quad-core processor and the swift Android Jelly Bean 4.1 operating system, was introduced to the world on June 27 at Google I/O in San Francisco and came out on time in mid-July, as advertised. However, they're apparently selling so briskly (at $199 for 8GB and $249 for 16GB) that national chain stores such as Staples, Fry's and others already have whizzed through their allotments.
At least one prominent national retailer, Best Buy, was left in the dark on the new tablet. The company, which has been struggling in recent months and has closed some of its locations, had not received its shipment; its Website instead was promoting "The New iPad," the iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy, and a set of accessories for those items. No evidence of Nexus 7 sales was apparent.
On the #Nexus7 Twitter feed, a Best Buy employee tweeted: "LOL they don't ship us the cool stuff."
GameStop yanked its Nexus 7 tablet order page from its Website on the first day, apparently due to overwhelming demand; NewEgg showed nothing about Nexus 7 on a search.
Adorama, an East-Coast-based online retailer, said on its Twitter page that it was sold out and waiting for its next shipment from the manufacturer, Asus.
The Google Play page was one place that could be counted upon to place an order. BHPhotoVideo also had them available for order.
Asus/Google itself may have had the back-order blues in trying to get them in the mail for July 13 delivery. For example, Tweeter Robert L. Szkutak II posted: "I have Twitter proof I ordered in the first ten minutes when they were announced and mine hasn't shipped yet."
A number of early orderers were upset about not receiving their tablets in the first week of release. A disappointed Ahmed Omar tweeted: "So it turns out ordering late from a third party gets your product faster than ordering early directly from @google." Serge Jespers tweeted: "Still no shipping information on my#Nexus7. Guess I won't be playing with it this weekend."
The Nexus 7 competes less with Apple market-leading iPad and more with Amazons popular Kindle Fire--mainly on size and price.
Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features and Analysis for eWEEK. Twitter: @editingwhiz