Last week, most of the tech industry was consumed with Google I/O, Google’s annual event to woo software and hardware developers to Google and consequently away from Apple and Microsoft. In addition to Google Glass-adorned daredevils jumping out of blimps and scaling down the sides of buildings, the Nexus 7 Tablet, the first full-featured, no-compromise tablet was launched at $199. What’s very clear is that the Google Nexus 7 will sell well and take business away from Apple’s $399 iPad 2. This is exactly why Apple needs a 7″ tablet or else face the prospect of losing market share and profit dollars.
The Kindle Fire was released back in September 2011 to big fanfare. I was accurate in stating it would take share away from the $499 iPad 2, which was true until the iPad 3 was launched and iPad 2 reduced down to $399 back in February. The situation has changed now as the Fire is slogging away and is losing share to the iPad 2 and even to the $199 Nook Tablet and the $169 Nook colour. It makes sense, as the Fire is a stripped down tablet and the iPad 2 is not, and many consumers were willing to pay the extra $200 to have the full experience. The Fire used a smartphone operating system, had an SD display and users got a large smartphone experience. It wan’t a great experience, but it wasn’t horrible, particularly at the ground-breaking price point. The Fire also lacked access to the broad Google Play content and application environment, too, which, to some, was limiting.