Turbulent Weather May Await the New Google Nexus 7


The new Google Nexus 7 tablet may not fare as well as its predecessor. Canalys’ report on tablet sales received a lot of attention because it revealed Apple iPad sales were down by over two million units, year on year. With all the fuss about Apple, one rather significant figure was not noticed. Asus was not on the list of top tablet sellers. Asus manufactures Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, and its absence on the list seems to point to the fact that the Nexus 7 sales may not have fared so well either.

Canalys press release table - 010813

After the release of the Nexus 7, Asus jumped to number four on the list of tablet manufacturers. In Q3 and Q4 of 2012, Asus shipped 2.5 million and 3.1 million tablets, respectively. This represented a 400% increase from year to year. Asus was third in the first quarter of 2013 with 2.7 million tablets shipped. In the second quarter of 2013, Asus suddenly dropped out of the top five list.

From an average of 2.8 million tablets shipped in three of the previous four quarters, Asus shipments fell somewhere south of 1.47 million in the last quarter. Google has not reported how many Google Nexus 7’s have been sold, but hinted the number was close to 7 million in a year’s time. With that many Nexus tablets sold, 70% or more of Asus tablet shipments are Nexus tablets.

A new model came out last July, so a drop in shipments could be expected in the second quarter. But a drop of at least 1.2 million Asus shipments in Q2 of 2013 indicates that actual Nexus 7 sales in Q2 of 2013 were even worse than iPad sales for the same period. The new Nexus 7, starting at US$299, costs US$30 more than the previous version. It is not as cheap a proposition as it used to be in 2012. With tablets from major manufacturers already coming out at below US$150. We will have to wait to see if the new Google Nexus 7 pushes Asus back to the list of top tablet vendors.