Sales of the Nexus 7 tablet are close to 1 million units a month, according to manufacturer Asustek Computer. That makes the device—pushed by Google as the flagship Android touch-screen—a serious competitor to both Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire as the holiday shopping season approaches.
“At the beginning, it was, for instance, 500k units a month, then maybe 600, 700k. This latest month, it was close to 1 million,” Asustek CFO David Chang is quoted as telling The Wall Street Journal Oct. 30.
While that sales figure lags far behind that of Apple’s iPad, which managed to sell 14 million units last quarter, it’s impressive given how most Android tablets on the market have suffered from anemic sales and quick deaths. Moreover, it could signal issues for the PC industry: if one manufacturer can diversify into handheld touch-screens and find success, others might divert resources away from PCs to tablets—creating additional pressure on a desktop-and-laptop industry already suffering its share of woes.
However, a variety of solid tablet performers could mean good news for third-party app developers and cloud-service providers, who may benefit from more variety and competition.
Nor do healthy sales of the Nexus 7 mean the iPad is in decline. To the contrary, Apple is doing pretty much everything in its power to continue its domination of everything tablet-related: in addition to issuing a new, fourth-generation iPad, it’s also releasing a 7.9-inch iPad Mini, which will compete directly against the Nexus 7 and the 7-inch Kindle Fire.
On Oct. 29, Google announced an updated version of the Nexus 7. The 16GB version of the device is now $199, and is joined by a 32GB version retailing for $249. There’s also the option of HSPA+ mobile in addition to WiFi, which adds a bit of cost. Like the Nexus 4, it runs Android 4.2.
Google also introduced the Nexus 10, a larger, 10-inch tablet that retails for a bit more—16GB for $399 and 32GB for $499—with a 1.7GHz Samsung-built processor, 2GB of RAM, a battery capable of up to nine hours of video playback (and over 500 hours of standby time), and front-facing stereo speakers.
Google originally intended to unveil the tablets (along with the Nexus 4, a new quad-core smartphone) in a New York City event, but had to cancel because of Hurricane Sandy, which subsequently devastated lower Manhattan and portions of the outer boroughs.