The Kindle Fire/Fire HD and Nexus 7 have given birth to a small, yet powerful, sub-category of affordable 7-inch tablets. One that has been slowly eating away at a market that has been dominated by the much larger Apple iPad. To battle this growing trend, Apple decided to break down — after vowing to never to make a 7-inch tablet — and create a smaller version of their highly successful iPad line. Apple’s iPad Mini may not be a 7-inch tablet (it’s 7.9-inches), but it’s clear Apple’s intentions are to disrupt the sales of those pesky 7-inch competitors out there who keep chipping away at their market share.
There’s no arguing against the fact that both the Kindle Fire line and Nexus 7 have shared some success, however, due to the fact that both Amazon and ASUS/Google remain secretive on actual sales figures, it’s hard to tell what exactly it is that Apple’s up against.
While I fully expect Amazon to continue their unfounded “Kindle Fire HD sales have tripled!” statements, I believe Google and ASUS will paint a more realistic picture of what the iPad Mini is up against, and in fact, they have.
Following a third-quarter earnings conference, Asustek Chief Financial Officer David Chang shed some light on Nexus 7 sales figures. Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Chang had this to say:
“At the beginning, it was, for instance, 500K units a month, then maybe 600, 700K. This latest month, it was close to 1 million”
While those numbers certainly aren’t astounding, they’re quite successful for an Android tablet market that’s been dismal at best.
Now Apple, with their iPad Mini, are given a magic number to aim at and annihilate. As long as Apple can show that the iPad Mini is selling more than 1 million units a month, they can claim once again that they know what consumers want.
This new market battle will be fun to watch, and while I’m obviously in the Nexus 7 camp, I’m all for the competition and can’t wait to see what kind of future products this rivalry spawns.