updated 09:57 am EST, Thu January 17, 2013
Puts end to otherwise uninterrupted iPad dominance
The Google Nexus 7 beat the iPad at Japanese retail stores during the holiday season, says research firm BCN. The group surveyed 2,400 electronics stores around the country in December, and found that the Nexus 7 accounted for 44.4 percent of the tablet market, while the iPad took home 40.1 percent. Tablets made by local companies, such as Sony, only accounted for 2 to 3 percent of sales.
Local business publication Nikkei, which published the BCN figures, comments that price may have been an important factor, since the Nexus 7 is roughly $100 less in Japan than an equivalent iPad mini. A shortage of Minis is said to have helped the Nexus, but price is portrayed as being a bigger influence. In the US the price gap is even wider, since a 16GB Wi-Fi Nexus 7 is $199, but a similarly-equipped Mini is $329.
The sales figures mark the end of an era in Japan, where the iPad has been the leading tablet since its first-generation model launched in 2010. In fact the iPad has tended to control the tablet market wherever it's on sale, perhaps making the BCN numbers unique worldwide.