So Much for Success – Googles Nexus 7 Sold Less Than 1 Million Last Quarter!

Image from HuffPo

OK, it is not confirmed, nor is it likely to get official confirmation, but the Nexus 7, Google’s ground-breaking tablet released earlier this year to great fanfare — declared by some as an ‘iPad Killer’ and reportedly ‘sold out’ on pre-order and after release —  hasn’t even managed 1 MILLION in sales over the first quarter. This is based on analysts looking at the Google earnings report.

And since the average life-span of ANY Android device is less than 6 months, we can now declare the Nexus 7 yet ANOTHER tepid Android tablet.

I bought and have reviewed the Nexus 7, and I still have it. Why? Because it is a solid piece of hardware, runs the latest and greatest Android OS version, it is portable enough to allow me to carry around some Android games and music … and it was cheap.

The Nexus 7 is regarded as one of the best and most successful (non-Amazon) Android tablets yet, which led many to assume that perhaps as many as several million had been sold. The analyst estimates peg sales between 700,000 and 1 million. We don’t know how the retail sales are accounted for, but even the most generous assumptions don’t put the total of ALL sales beyond 3 million.

3 million sounds like quite a bit, even in the shadow of the iPad’s 17 million last quarter. But consider that Samsung was estimated to have sold 2.3 million during the same period without anything particularly new or exciting (setting aside that we know that number is overestimated by more than an order of magnitude) – and considering that the launch of the Nexus pretty much throttled sales of EVERY other Android tablet (including Nook and Kindle) for a couple of months due to price/performance advantage.

As a result, we have a Nexus tablet that at once destroyed all other Android tablets and STILL underperformed compared to the iPad. And since release the Kindle Fire HD and new Nook tablets have arrived and eclipsed the Nexus, whose sales will only plummet further from here. While I won’t directly call it a failure since we don’t have hard numbers … it certainly is NOT a success.

Categories: News

13 replies

  1. So you are going to call it a fail based on one analysts prediction? Really? What if Google didn’t care about how many they sold? I bet they would consider it a success and in reality that’s all that is needed for Google to continue producing Nexus tablets. Android is but one thing that Google has and all it has to do is make Google enough to keep them profitable and so far it’s working….for them.

    • Joel – that is a revisionist look. The Kindle Fire has sold more than ALL Android Tablets … combined. Amazon OWNS the non-iPad space – and loads of pundits, Android fans and general anti-Apple folks were pretty clear on the expectations that Google had an opportunity to take the lead in crafting a successful Android tablet. Making a ‘good device’ isn’t enough – if it doesn’t sell, it is a failure. That is real life. It is an iPad and Kindle Fire world.

      • It takes more than a sales failure to be a failure. There’s more than sales that Google cares about when it comes to the Nexus. Nexus devices are used as a catalyst for Android development. Devices from Samsung, HTC and Motorola can all take things that Google learned while making the Nexus 7 and make better devices. Nexus devices aren’t necessarily supposed to be the best there are. They can be, for a moment but they are there to give the other guys ideas. NFC came in on the Nexus (not that it matters but…) and a lot of what we take for granted now started on the Nexus One. The same can happen with tablets.

        Google doesn’t have the same goals that Apple does when it comes to sales. That much is certain.

        With all that said, it’s still really early in this space. In 5 years, the landscape could be very different.

  2. I honestly didn’t want to comment on this, since it’s pretty much a reoccurring theme here on Gear Diary to have an article about abysmal sales of Android tablets and how all of them are failure every couple of months.

    But really, this is rather stupid – a sensationalist title, based on one article that talks about some estimates done by analysts that as far as I’m concerned pulled their numbers from thin air. That’s like I heard from a guy that knows a guy… really.

    What if the difference of 300+ million they are talking about is not all, what if other category in Google statement contains actually 500 million of Nexus7 sales – after all that number is as good a guess as any – then only Google would have sold 2+ million of devices and one could argue that most of Nexus7 sales was through other channels not through Google store, that probably were not included in Other? I don’t really care, it’s just that there is really no proof that your claims are even remotely true and one would expect something more than such sensationalism, or maybe not?
    Anyhow, for me Nexus7 is a great device, my daughter has one and given the fact that it apparently doesn’t sale, it is surprisingly hard to purchase in Europe, the prices are quite higher than Google’s and there is a large selection of accessories (like cases and stuff) available for a failed device – really strange.

    • The numbers cited make much more sense than the NPD saying that Samsung sold 2.3 million tablets in Q2 when we discovered that they sold less than 37,000 based on the court stuff. :)
      The Nexus 7 *IS* a great device. I said that. I also didn’t declare it a failure because we DON’T have conclusive numbers … and never will, because Apple is the ONLY one providing real numbers.
      But sales DO have an impact on the market, and the Nexus 7 has failed to make a significant impact against the Kindle Fire, which is the ONLY successful Android tablet.
      I love my Android phone, and like the competition, but Android tablets are not competitive for a wide array of reasons. Maybe they will be at some point … and honestly that is what keeps me buying them as they come out …

      • Actually….you kind of did with the image accompanying this post Michael… 😉

        Like I said further down….sales is just but one measure. There are many others that should be considered. I am glad that sales aren’t the only measure that Google uses when it comes to deciding if they want to continue the Nexus program.

  3. OK, this is very interesting … we have:
    – The Amazon Kindle Fire as the only truly multi-million selling Android tablet, which brought loads of new users into the fold.
    – Google announcing a tablet that is prima facia a ‘Kindle Fire clone’ in every single way – ‘built for Google Play’, $199 price, interface set up for new users and made to shove Google Play stuff down your throat.

    … and yet there are claims that sales volumes don’t matter?

    Wow … I want some of whatever you guys are on.

    Because in this place called ‘reality’, the only reason to produce a extremely low margin product is to make it up in sales – either through massive device sales … or like Amazon by earning money from each customer through content.

    So … if the device isn’t selling well, then people aren’t engaging the Play store. This we know because Google Music made <5% of projected first-year revenue (those were Google projections), and the low revenue of the App store is well enough known already.

    So no unit sales, no media sales. That is OK, because the ultimate goal for Google is search, right?

    No devices, no new Play customers … no new eyeballs for Google to sell.

    I am all for reasoned discussion, but either 'it isn't just sales' or threatening to leave are not reasoned discussion.

    • If the Nexus program or Android wasn’t working to expectations then Google would have ditched it. We’ve seen this with Google Wave and many other tried and failed experiments that Google has tried. Sam has a good point: These aren’t hard numbers specifically about the Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 is a developer device that happens to have non developers buying it as well. Obviously Google knows something it isn’t telling us. Google’s never really come out and said anything that makes me worry. In fact, it wasn’t long ago that Google came out and reported by Pew that Google is nearing 50 percent marketshare.

      So obviously someone’s buying these tablets (All Android devices combined….not just the Nexus 7). Someone’s buying apps….I know I do. So something’s working because if it didn’t then Google wouldn’t do it anymore.

      The problem with judging how well Android tablets are doing is you have Google, Asus, Huawei, Motorola, Acer and more all making devices. You can’t look at any one and compare it to the iPad and their sales numbers. The same with comparing it to the Kindle Fire. I guess you might call that fragmentation (I don’t but I ain’t going there). You have to combine them all. Trying to do that you will definitely miss someone since there are SO MANY devices.

      In the end, Google’s goal isn’t the same as Apple’s. Google is the lead developer in an open source project that anyone can take and mold to it’s own. Amazon and Barnes and Noble both did that. There are many others that have done so as well. Android is a successful project so far as a whole. Like I said if it wasn’t, then Google wouldn’t do it any more and it would die.

      • That so-called report was a survey of <1200 people … this has long since been debunked. Apple had actual sales that even the bogus NPD numbers (they coddle Samsung who only gives % increase figures and others with 'estimated shipments') pegged at 68% …

        Android is an AMAZINGLY successful endeavor (crap, there I go with caps again) … but Android *tablets* are just … wonky and don't sell very well. I have detailed many reasons in the past, not worth rehashing here. That is just how it is …

        • Ok….but isn’t that kind of the same as what this story? Where did the data come from? An analysts report?? Analysts can make mistakes….I’ll wait for Google’s real numbers Monday if they announce them and they should!

          I wish I knew where but I keep hearing of a rumor of a 99 dollar Nexus 7. If that happens, it could be a very good quarter for Nexus deivces.

          I already know you hate Android on a tablet…..but I do know you want it to work which is why you keep trying too. 😉

  4. I have *only* Android phones, and have loads of tablets (sitting here I have the iPad in front of me, the Nexus 7 on left, Kindle Fire HD on right, SGS3 in pocket). Your point was?

  5. I like the Nexus 7 although I think it is a failure in the app compatibility space compared to the iPad. That said, I agree that sales aren’t necessarily Google’s goals. Overall, Google’s goal is to get eyes on ads – that’s their basic revenue model. But the Nexus program is more of a “what if” kind of thing. A way to get their view of what a device ought to be out there so that other manufactures can see what can be done. The Nexus 7 did that in many ways (and failed in a few ways too).