Google Nexus 7 tops iPad in Japan: Is this a trend?

Google's Nexus 7 is making serious market-share headway against Apple in Japan, according to Nikkei.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
Nexus 7: The iPad is feeling the heat from Google's 7-inch tablet in Japan.
Nexus 7: The iPad is feeling the heat from Google's 7-inch tablet in Japan. Google

Google's Nexus 7 is gaining market share in Japan and topped Apple's iPad in one survey of consumer electronic stores.

Japanese digital device consumers are some of the savviest in the world. So, a report Thursday showing that the Nexus 7 has bested the iPad in market share is worthy of attention.

Based on a survey of 2,400 consumer electronics stores in Japan (excluding Apple stores), Google's Nexus 7 tablet had 44.4 percent of the market versus the iPad's 40.1 percent, according to Nikkei, Japan's largest business daily. The survey was done by market research firm BCN in December.

Not surprisingly, one of the big draws of the Nexus 7 -- which is co-branded with Asus, the manufacturer of the tablet -- is price, according to Nikkei. It's about a $100 less in Japan than Apple's least expensive tablet, the iPad Mini.

The survey did note, however, that there was a shortage of the iPad Mini at stores and that this may have contributed to Apple's market share decline. But the gist of Nikkei's analysis is that the Nexus 7's price is a bigger factor.

Tablet sales in Japan were 3.6 million units in 2012 and this is expected to swell to 4.9 million in 2013, according to figures from IDC Japan that Nikkei cited.