Google Nexus 7- Why it may fail in India unless it changes some things…

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[Note: Arun Prabhudesai had previously published on this blog as to how Google Nexus 7 may revolutionize Indian Tablet market. This is a contrarian view to that post.]

Google Nexus 7, the latest and greatest android tablet ever to come has been launched in US and it is literally flying off the shelves. Which to be honest is not all that shocking. If anyone analyzes the specifications of the tablet and gives a look at the new Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) this will be clear to the person.

It has the latest hardware packed in a shiny slim package with which it strolls past its contemporary tablets aka every other 7-incher be it kindle fire or galaxy tab 7. Of course there are some omissions like lack of a back camera but these are wise ones as people generally do not take pictures with their tablets.

google nexus 7 tablet

To top it all it has Android 4.1. Indeed, it is the best iteration of Android ever which says that Google is going from strength to strength where Android is concerned. After getting all the parts fit in right, since Android 4.0 they have focused more on usability, beauty and general suaveness of the OS making it as beautiful as it is useful.

With 4.1 they have made it far smoother and of course then there is Google Now. Hard-coding the voice to text in Android itself and integrating its search capabilities into the phone is a completely different way has increased its usability and potential both. Google Play has been given all the power in 4.1 to call the shots and thus making Nexus 7 a true content delivery package, as a tablet should be.

All this and I still believe that Nexus 7 will fail to produce the same effect in India as it has otherwise

Currently, it is not available in India though a person can get it from outside at a price of 16-17K Rs. This is cheap considering the tablet is imported. When the tablet shall come it will be priced well below that.

Considering its $200 price point I am assuming it will be around Rs. 11K to Rs. 12K. At this price it will be killer tablet to have except-

  1. No mobile network connection.
  2. All the content not available in India.
  3. Aura of Apple still shines.

Let me take each individually. Nexus 7 has just WiFi. This must have helped it to maintain price but it becomes a glaring problem in any country where WiFi network is not around the corner. India thrives on mobile net connection right now. People are adapting 3G as well and 2G network has really seen a surge.

In fact, a study by Nokia Siemens shows that 2G adoption is going very fast paced and data consumption of 3G has already equaled 2G. In such a scenario Nexus 7 loses most of its sheen. Maybe they will launch a tablet with mobile net in which case the scenario will be different.

You can read my previous article, where I have given reasons as to why a tablet is not of much use without a continuous Internet connectivity. If the price increases by couple of thousand rupees for 2g / 3g connectivity, it will still easily be a fantastic all round tablet package.

Even if I assume that a person buying a tablet moves only in places where WiFi is available then too Google Play itself is not adequate and ample enough in India. Not all content is available to Indians and thus content consumption becomes a bit of a problem where Google is concerned.

Of course, a person will put his favourite things in the tablet but it won’t be the experience Google wants us to have…

Third is something you will notice if you ever go to purchase a tablet. A sales guy will come to you and tell you that no other tablet is worth compared to iPad. This might be true as well for now but it is not for different screen sizes. The aura of iPad though transcends that. The sales guy is not just telling you this to make more money, he actually believes that. Hence, a person will have to make a choice between the two which is not a fair fight.

The price point should beat that but combine this with the fact the only the people who can afford the pricey tablets generally have round the clock WiFi with them (In India) this becomes a competition.

Anyways, these are my views and of course only its arrival will determine the real situation, but I think Google should take a leaf off local companies and at least add some source for mobile network in the tablet. Besides, it should expand its content as well.

What are your views on this?

  1. Shekhar says

    Lack of expandable storage is also a downer. Google needs to get in a 32gb one as well. Samsung tab 2 scores here too besides 3G of course.16 gb is not the truth… OS and some apps take up space.

  2. Ravi Vyas says

    I would sightly disagree. A lot will depends on the price it will enter the market. If It manages to go under 15K it would still be one of the best performers on the marker. While it would not be the cheapest it would be one with the best experience w.r.t Android tablets. Also we will all complain about it not having 3G, I did too when I got it at Google IO, but as you constantly use it you realize its a data hungry beast (depending on your usage of course) and 3G will only reduce its usage as one keeps nearing the bandwidth cap. W.r.t the iPad, if priced well it could actually gobble up the tablet markets in the emerging nations.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Ravi, I completely agree with you… Although Kunal has a different view, I had written about it when Google Nexus was announced that Nexus 7 has potential to revolutionize Indian Tablet Market – https://trak.in/tags/business/2012/06/27/google-nexus-tablet-india/

    2. Ravi Vyas says

      How cars have a power to weight ratio this tablet has a power to cost ratio which is awesome. I constantly demonstrate the power by loading a local video and seeking through it, not only does the seekbar keep up with my finger ( No UI lag anymore) but the video and its frames also keep with with it. Its a very powerful consumption tablet. We need to wait for it to launch, Acer did say they would launch it sometime in October.

  3. Amit says

    Ok Kunal. To begin with, let me say I really like the topics you write on.
    A for effort but I would really like to see more research and thought going into your articles on this site which seem to be put together rather lazily.
    Where do I begin:

    No mobile network connection:
    You bring up cost which is fair. But you forget that almost all the smartphones that you mention support Wi-Fi tethering which gives you your own mobile internet connection without paying extra for separate SIM/Plan and paying extra for hardware. Now your opinion on the practicality of this might be different but I would have liked to see this being mentioned in an article from a technology expert.

    All the content not available in India:
    Are you f-ing serious? Are you seriously complaining about the paid content not being made available in India? Do you really see availability of paid content as being important to the Indian consumer? We have the highest rates of piracy and the lowest rates of purchase of paid content. This frankly is market reality and while paid content is ‘good to have’, do you really see someone using it as a decision criteria? Even if streaming content was available, how many would use it considering our internet speeds?

    Aura of Apple still shines:
    OK. This is just ridiculous. Instead of ranting, i’ll just ask you a simple question: Keeping your above statement in mind, could you please explain the success of android phones in India?

    And the biggest point that I take umbrage over is the simple multiplication of the US price to arrive at the Indian price. And to be honest its not just you who is making that mistake. Any one with an intermediate knowledge of the industry knows that both Nexus 7 and Kindle are being subsidised heavily so that money can be made on the content consumption. How do you think the initial launch markets have been chosen? Now if you take content consumption out of the equation, then you need to take the subsidy out of the equation too. There is NO WAY you will see Nexus 7 launched in India at 11K. Its an extremely naive assumption and much better insight is expected of you and trak.in.

  4. Mayur Agarwal says

    Post is about Nexus 7 and image of Galaxy Nexus?

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Mayur – It has been changed… sometimes these kind of things happen…ain't they :)

    2. Mayur Agarwal says

      Hehe.. yeah!

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