Are Google’s Nexus Tablets a Concern For Apple?

Some interesting methods have revealed estimates of usage for Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets, and they don’t look especially good when compared to the usage statistics of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPads.

According to freelance analyst Benedict Evans, who used a number of metrics to calculate just how many Nexus devices are in use, only 6.8 million Nexus 7 devices and 680,000 Nexus 10 devices were in use in the end of March. That compares to 39.6 million iPads in the second half of 2012 and 10 million iPad Minis in the last two months of the fourth quarter.

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It’s hard to tell just how reliable Evans’ figures are, as they rely on some assumptions. Unfortunately for Google, a number of his assumptions could actually be inflating the statistics. For one, his analysis was based on statistics about screen sizes being used with Google Play, and he figured that the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are the only two devices using their individual screen profiles, thus giving them a complete share of the usage for those screen profiles. If other device had the same screen profiles, it would cut down the shares of Nexus devices…

Next, Evans assumed that all devices has equal use of Google Play — obviously not all devices use Google’s app store equally, but for his purposes, he didn’t have much choice but to make this assumption. Considering that a single tablet can usually be expected to have a strong presence in app stores compared to a smartphone, it’s possible that the tablets are not so accurately reflected because of this assumption. He also did not include China’s Android users in his statistics. This move could cut down the number of tablet devices, considering that Lenovo (LNGVY.PK) is the maker of the Nexus 7 and is also a popular Chinese brand, while Samsung(SSNLF.PK) is the leader of the Chinese smartphone market and the maker of the Nexus 10.

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While Google might be giving Apple a run for its money in the smartphone business, it seems Google still has a long way to go before it can challenge Apple with its own tablet devices. Even Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) surface tablets had a lead on the Nexus 10.

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