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At cost tablet is so popular ASUSTek is upping production

While the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) saw some modest international sales success, no Android tablet to date has truly challenged market dominator Apple, Inc. (AAPL), unless you count, Inc.'s (AMZN) quasi-Android Kindle Fire.

Google Inc.'s (GOOG) new Nexus 7 tablet runs the main-line Android release -- specifically Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" -- unlike the Kindle Fire, which runs Amazon's own special fork of Android.  But the tablets do share a common price -- $199 USD for the 8 GB Nexus 7.

Now they share something else -- the Nexus 7 appears to be the first pure-Android tablet to be a market-moving hit.

Google reports that despite demand for the 8 GB variant being soft, it is seeing wild demand for the 16 GB version that retails for a modest $249 USD.    The tablets are reportedly sold at cost, which may be part of their strong appeal.

The sales success of the higher-storage variant is unusual, given that competitors like Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) have typically seen their highest sales with the cheaper lower-storage models.  In fact, the success took Google by surprise and the company has now been forced to put sales of the popular 16 GB model on hiatus, as it struggles to catch up with a back-log of orders in the U.S. and UK.

Nexus 7

The company now lists the 16 GB model as "coming soon", offering hopeful buyers the chance to sign up for an email alert when more stock becomes available.

Announced June 27, the tablet's hardware is produced by Taiwanese computer maker ASUSTek Computer Inc. (TPE:2357).  The tablet packs a Tegra 3 quad-core CPU from NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA).  It is primarily available through the Google Play store, but was also picked up by several major U.S. and UK retailers late last month.

The tablet has reportedly sold out at many of its U.S. partners' stores.  ASUSTek is upping production, but it may be weeks before customers can get their hands on the hot tablet.

The success of the 7-inch Kindle Fire, and now the Nexus 7 have reportedly alarmed Apple who is reportedly feeling pressure to release a "mini-iPad" early than planned.

Before his death CEO Steven Jobs vetoed such a design, insisting it would be a market failure.  In one of his numerous rants in his waning years, he commented:

The reason we wouldn't make a 7-inch tablet isn't because we don't want to hit a price point, it's because we don't think you can make a great tablet with a 7-inch screen.  The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.  [Increasing screen resolution on small devices is] meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size.

Well the success of its rivals reportedly has Apple prepared to tell its legion of loyal followers to get the sandpaper out and ready their fingers for a mini-iPad.

Sources: Google Play, The Guardian

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By Argon18 on 7/23/2012 3:52:50 PM , Rating: 0
the bald loser of redmond has already been pwnd in the tablet space. surface is irrelevant at this point because it doesn't exist as a consumer product and won't for some time yet. too little too late.

even if it was available today, i can think of no compelling reason to choose a microsoft tablet over the more established apple and android products. and if history is any indication, neither can anyone else. microsoft has tried and failed hard at the tablet game many times.

By The Raven on 7/23/2012 4:05:09 PM , Rating: 4
In the bald one's defense MS is the only one around who supported full-fledged tablets since forever ago. I am surprised that no one has stepped in to expand that space instead of just saying,"Oh look, everyone lowered their standards. We don't have to try to sell real computers anymore!"

As much as I dislike MS, this is a positive point in my eyes.
And I should know. I had a convertible HP tablet running Vista of all OSs and it worked great. Not as smooth as what iOS and Andoid are pushing now but on the other hand it was more than 5 years ago when I bought it and I could install normal programs instead of stripped down stuff made for a phone.

By jeepga on 7/23/2012 4:15:05 PM , Rating: 5
even if it was available today, i can think of no compelling reason to choose a microsoft tablet over the more established apple and android products

One word... Office.

I don't mean to be condescending, that means to talk down to, but you can use the Shift key (there is one on either side of your keyboard) to capitalize the first letter of the first word in each sentence. Your phone also has the equivalent of the Shift key if that's where you typed your reply.

By mellomonk on 7/23/2012 5:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
One word... Office.

Well that would be a reason, except Office for iOS and Android is expected to be released as part of the new subscription plans for Office 2013. Which should come out before the Surface uhh, 'surfaces'. There were quite a few tidbits about it in this past weeks Windows Weekly podcast with Paul Therot.

As sexy as Surface may be, they can not pass up the potential market for Office on the other Tablets. Surface is an interesting sideline, Office is a cash cow.

By jeepga on 7/23/2012 5:16:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not familiar with your source. CNET has a quote from an interview with Office President Kurt DelBene that contradicts what you said.

DelBene didn't specifically address when, or even if, Microsoft would release a version of Office for the iPad, the dominant platform for touch-based tablet computing. But he made it clear that Microsoft would give Windows tablets the first crack at what for many companies remains a must-have application.


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