Google on June 27 at its I/O Conference finally unveiled the long-rumored Nexus 7 tablet. The device comes with a 7-inch high-definition display and the customers choice of 8GB and 16GB of storage. Like the Amazon Kindle Fire, the tablet lacks 3G or 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) service, but does allow users to connect to the Web via WiFi. And for $199 or $249, depending on the version users pick, it seems like a good deal.
But is it? The fact is, the 7-inch sector of the tablet space is being hit hard by devices that are both smaller and larger. The smaller devices are popular smartphones like Apples iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S III. On the higher-end side, products like Apples iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 are attracting plenty of buyers. Simply put, 7-inch slates are in no mans land and the Nexus 7 will suffer from that.
Take a look at the reasons the Nexus 7 is in danger of failure even before it starts shipping and why Google might not be doing enough right now to save it.
1. The 7-inch display is an issue
Looking around the mobile market, its impossible to find a single 7-inch tablet that has actually been successful over a long period. The Amazon Kindle Fire had a great launch, but its sales have faltered. The Galaxy Tab launched as a 7-inch tablet, but Samsung, seeing the writing on the wall, delivered a far more popular 10.1-inch alternative. The Nexus 7s small screen is a liability.
2. The Apple juggernaut
Apple is a major concern for every other company in the mobile market. The companys iPad is a sales juggernaut, and so far, no tablet maker has been able to catch up, no matter what features or form factor they delivered. Google, with its underpowered 7-inch tablet, will face the same struggle.
3. Consumer awareness
Google might be a massive company that gets a lot of attention, but it still cant command the kind of attention a company like Apple does. There are undoubtedly products on store shelves right now that are as good as or even better than Apples products. But because they havent captured the market spotlight like Apples products consistently do, theyre largely ignored. Despite Googles success in search, it faces the same challenge with the Nexus 7.
4. The Amazon element
Googles chief competitor with the Nexus 7 is the Amazon Kindle Fire. And unfortunately for Google, the Kindle Fire is consistently given top billing on Amazons immensely popular home page. That alone is a major selling point for Amazon and something that Google can do nothing about.
Lack of Mobile Connectivity Is a Major Problem
5. Wheres the mobile connectivity?
Todays mobile customers want to be able to connect to the Web wherever they are when theyre using a tablet. So, Googles decision to only include WiFi in the device is a major flaw. The addition of 3G and 4G LTE would have been a huge selling point for the device. Instead, its WiFi-only.
6. It doesnt have enough storage
According to Google, its tablet will ship with either 8GB or 16GB of storage. Thats not enough. In todays world of storing movies, television shows and music, plenty of data storage capacity is important to buyers. Even16GB just doesnt cut it these days.
7. The iPad Mini is coming
As noted, Apples iPad is a sales juggernaut in the mobile market. However, theres a chance in the coming months that Apple will launch a 7-inch version, known as the iPad Mini. Even though other 7-inch tablets besides the Amazon Kindle have struggled, look for Apple iPad Mini to grab buyers attention and put the Nexus 7 on its heels.
8. Theres no need for it
Looking around the mobile market, is there really a need for companies to deliver yet another underpowered 7-inch tablet? Sure, this is Google, which makes it unique, but who cares? The future of the mobile market resides with larger devices yet still highly portable devices that have more power, not smaller products with less-than-optimal components.
9. Is it too Google-focused?
10. Its not a long-term product
The nice thing with pricing a device at $199 is that itll attract consumers looking for cheap products. But over time, demand will wane when consumers realize that the tablet cant satisfy their needs over the long term. Apples iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 are designed to provide long-term service. Underpowered 7-inch tablets retailing for $199 are impulse buys. Just ask Amazon.