Jun 27 AT 8:19 AM Anthony Domanico 21 Comments

Four ways Google can make the Nexus 7 a success


It’s pretty much set in stone at this point that Google will unveil the Nexus 7 tablet today at the kickoff of Google’s I/O developer conference in San Francisco. With the Nexus 7, Google is hoping to make a dent in the tablet market dominated by Apple’s iPad, whose only competition came (briefly) from the sub-$250 Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet hybrid ereader/tablet devices. There have been many Android tablets released in the last 18 months, and all have failed to generate meaningful sales.

So can Google’s Nexus 7 be the tablet that finally breaks this trend and gives Apple the competition the tablet market so sorely needs? We obviously hope┬áso, but Google and Co. will need to focus on four key areas to generate consumer interest in their Android 4.1 slate.


The biggest gripe with Android tablets thus far have been the severe lack of applications available that are customized to the larger screens. The remedy thus far has been blown-up phone applications, which look awful on a 10″ screen. Google has a slight advantage here in that these applications look fairly decent on the 7″ screens, but Google still needs to push developers to put out versions of their applications that take full advantage of the larger displays afforded to them by tablets.

Google has previously said that it wants to double down on tablets this year, and with Google I/O set to kick off today, Google has a perfect opportunity to reach the developers it needs to get this goal accomplished. Here’s hoping Google places a focus on apps when it takes the stage later this morning.

Price Point

When it comes to getting the most people to adopt a product that doesn’t have an Apple logo on the side, pricing is key. Amazon showed the power of the bargain when it unveiled the $200 Kindle Fire, which sold like hotcakes throughout the holiday season. Other Android tabs have been fairly expensive, with price points mirroring Apple’s iPad, and sales have obviously suffered. In order for Google to have a shot at success, it will need to keep the price point low.

Fortunately, it looks like Google is doing the right thing here. We first suggested that the Nexus Tablet would retail for $149-$199, and all signs recently are pointing to an 8GB model for $199, and a 16GB model for $249. This is with a fully-powered Tegra 3 quad-core processor inside, giving Google the unquestionable leg up against the low-cost competition.


Marketing is something Apple has done extremely well with its iPhone and iPad devices. Adverts for Apple’s leading slate are everywhere, from your television, to the websites you visit, and even on many bus stop benches. Amazon’s marketing with the Kindle Fire was almost equally impressive, with the tablet plastered all across Amazon’s homepage, as well as a few TV ads geared at generating large amounts of sales.

How many people use Google? That’s right, a crapton. While Google usually doesn’t do more than text ads on its own page, we’d like to see Google do more of a visual push on the Nexus 7, perhaps featuring it in the daily doodle a few times in the first few weeks. Google will also need to buy some TV spots in key markets, similar to what it and Samsung did with the Galaxy Nexus device, one of the few Android phones people actually lined up at stores to purchase (see also: Galaxy S III).

In short, the advertising campaign needs to be large scale if Google is to successfully push the Nexus 7 tablet.


Again, how many people use Google’s services? From Drive to Gmail, hundreds of millions of people are using Google’s services every day, and even though competing tablets can hook you into these services, nobody does it as well as Google itself. The Android Google experience is head and shoulders above the competition, and Google needs to demonstrate that ecosystem experience in its marketing campaign.

Google is also set to launch a true cloud storage platform to rival that offered by the likes of Amazon and Dropbox. Imagine if Google offered something extra–say, 50-100GB of free storage–if you purchase a Nexus 7 tablet. The costs to Google would be fairly minimal, and free cloud storage is a strong incentive to get people to purchase a tablet, especially when the tablet only costs $200. And the return for Google is two-fold, not only do they get more Android tablets (and therefore, search revenue) in the hands of consumers, they tie these customers into their cloud storage service, and as more and more services move to the cloud, people would likely upgrade to Google’s higher storage tiers.

So too with a tie-in to Google Music, another under-performing service Google is hoping to bolster.


Google I/O is set to kick off in just a few short hours, and we should learn a lot more about the Nexus 7 tablet very soon. Google has the potential to make the Nexus 7 a runaway success, if only Google puts an adequate amount of focus on apps, pricing, marketing, and the powerful Google ecosystem. Should they do so, we believe the Nexus 7 could finally be the tablet that can help Android emerge as a true competitor in the tablet market.

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • droilfade

    Agree with all the points here. Especially the apps. It is important to get develoopers to develop more tablet specific apps. The hardware is there, we just need apps that can push the hardware. I like Google’s price point. If they can deliver a solid device, it will surely turn the winds in its favor. What I would like to see is a SD card slot or extra storage (read cloud) that would push it from just being an add-on device to being used as a go-to device. Here’s wishing Google, good luck!

    • McLovin

      SD card slot – YES!!!

    • erikiksaz

      Well, after some thinking this over, this tablet will probably support USB OTG.

      If it could power a USB thumb drive without external power I’d be happy with 8gb.

      Here’s to hoping.

      • Terrormaster

        That would be nice. But SD would be better, I don’t want a USB stick dangling off my device. Just one more thing to forget in the morning.

  • hinds2009

    Google needs to expand its music service to outside America and also open its devices section outside America so that more customers have access to purchasing nexus devices online. I’m waiting patiently for the nexus 7 and hope developers start cranking out optimized apps for tablets in the Android eco system!

  • billc

    If Google offered the Nexus tab at 16gb for $200 it would be a run away with free cloud intro. I’ve been using their music cloud and its great, and as I buy music my cloud will only grow, so being competitive in the music market would put them over the top.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    >> Google will also need to buy some TV spots in key markets

    I just don’t see it coming. Frankly, I’ve given up on seeing any meaningful marketing campaign from Google at this point.

  • Freshly_Snipes

    I totally agree. With marketing and making the tablet look like the best thing since water. That’s the key to breeding sheep like customers.

    • thekaz

      I agree. I don’t think Apps is totally the problem. I think many of the major apps are now coming out for both Android and iOS. Unfortunately, there is a perception out there that the Android apps suck. I think Marketing and actually getting the hardware into the consumers’ hands is the only way to overcome that now.

      Apps may be the way to KEEP people from dropping their Android tablets for an iPad, but marketing it, and making it look cooler than the iPad is what’s going to get people to first buy it.

      Hardware is relevant (for most average consumers) only for giving a great experience (i.e. keeping consumers) after purchase, not necessarily for winning over iPad users.

      At this point, for me, I see marketing and price as a key. They can’t merely be as good as the iPad, they need to be better in the eye of the consumer.

  • Sheng

    Google really needs to open up Play Store to other countries to allow people to buy direct from Google and receive support and OTA directly from them.

    • Jimmy_Jo

      I understand why many people feel that way but Android has been growing just fine without opening up to many countries. I think they’re basically beta testing their products on a few countries and opening up as they get better. And even with that being the case they are tops in OS market share. But become tops in Mind Share they need to market this thing. Get it into people’s minds that Google is so awesome they would be dumb not to want to get on board. And I don’t mean making commercials about how foolish iOS fanboys are, but rather focus on how cool Android users are. How useful Android is, customizable, intuitive… etc etc

      Make a commercial highlighting ANDROID, not just putting down Apple.

      Because I think Android is so much better but it’s in so many little ways that you just have to use the device to learn about and love. It’s not as easy to compare and explain so why compare. Just show how we rock. Let the audience figure out who’s best.

  • Mustache

    imagine if they decide not to release any tablet,in the tribute of Eduard Khill.

  • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

    I think marketing is probably the most critical factor and also the one that they are most likely to drop the ball on.

    I still think the apps problem is more about discoverability than about an actual lack of tablet optimized apps and unfortunately every comment that comes out of Google suggests that they are blind to that being an issue.

    The price they have nailed, but as you say if they don’t leverage the eyeballs they have with the Google homepage like Amazon has done with theirs than that rumored Kindle Fire 2 could eat the Nexus 7′s lunch.

    Agree on all points about the ecosystem. If they could go ahead and build subscription models into Play Music and Play Movies I would really appreciate that too though.

  • shadhussain

    marketing the nexus brand is key here. it doesn’t have samsung (e.g., galaxy nexus) behind it this time so the brand power is lacking (guaranteed market share in half of korea!). as much as techies know asus has some serious tablet credentials going for it, you’d have to convince everyone else. people need to know that this tablet brand is here to stay, will be improved and is not just a one off. the nexus phone series took 3 generations to catch on in the mass market, let’s hope the nexus tablets catch “fire” a little faster.

  • MoSDeeb

    I’ll be dishing out the cash once this is announced assuming it will be a solid product. New Nexus devices always sounds good to me.

  • spazby

    can’t wait to see if there are any surprises up Google’s sleeves

  • wyngo

    I agree with most of the points here, especially regarding ecosystem, but using the Google doodle for advertising?!? To me the doodle symbolizes how Google isn’t only interested in advertising, but is about learning and discovery and having fun while you’re at it.

    With all due respect to the Nexus tablet, are you really comparing it to history makers like Alan Turing? If 50 years down the road, people agree that the Nexus tablet changed the way people interact with technology, then it belongs on the doodle.

    • rantmo

      Advertising via the Doodle would be a profoundly bad idea on a number of levels.

  • rantmo

    I’ve been incredibly excited about this tablet for months now and now on the cusp of release, I have two small hesitations (which is kind of nice, since my enthusiasm was even getting on *my* nerves) because of two things none of the reports have mentioned; SD slot and Bluetooth. After a lot of consideration, a lack of an SD slot would not be a deal-breaker for me, as much as I’d like the option. I don’t really have so much media on my phone that I wouldn’t be able to make do with the 16GB model. As I have more and more stuff on Drive and GMusic, I think I’ll be fine if there’s no option for expansion, though I still think that would be a bonehead move of Google’s part.

    The lack of Bluetooth is a bit more of a concern though, as one of the main things I want the N7 for is for writing. The scriptwriting program I use, Celtx, finally put out an Android app after a long time of my complaining at them and it’s really nice to have access to my work anywhere I go. That said, a physical keyboard is really a necessity for anything other than editing and if I can’t use that sort of peripheral, I will sorely feel the loss. Realistically, the lack of Bluetooth or some sort of peripheral use isn’t going to stop me from getting an N7 the moment it’s available, but I’d really hate to miss out on that productivity.

    • Mix

      I am praying to the tablet lords high above that this has an expandable memory slot as 16gb’s isn’t that much if you take a week long vacation and need some video’s for the flight.

      It’s almost a deal breaker for myself as well.

      I don’t really use Bluetooth but I can see the benefits of offering it!

  • Nathan D.

    All those reason are what makes any product successfully.