So Google have announced the Nexus 7 Android tablet. Available to pre-order now from the Google play store and shipping in a few weeks. It’s priced very aggressively at £159 in UK ($199 US) and will be running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It actually looks pretty good. No carrier stuff stuck on top of the base Android. Consensus seems to be that the main competitor to this is the Amazon Kindle Fire.
I think that this new Nexus 7 will also have an impact on the iPad tablet market. The cheapest iPad in the UK is £329. That’s for the iPad 2 that is still for sale. The 3rd Generation iPad, with its simply stunning screen, starts at £399. That means that the Nexus is well under half the price of the cheapest iPad. It’s true that the iPad, with its higher resolution screen, can be used for different types of tablet apps than are possible on a 7 inch screen. But I think that the low entry price of the Nexus will cause people to stop and think about what to buy. Especially in schools. Getting two Nexus tablets for each iPad will help schools deliver on a 1:1 device programme.
So what should Apple do? I think that they should do a 7 inch tablet device. But I don’t think it should be an iPad 7. They should use the iPod brand to fill this space. It’s clear that over the last few years that the iPhone has cannibalised some of the iPod sales. The iPod touch with the 3.5 retina display still sells well. It’s like an iPhone without the mobile radio, which is useful in a lot of situations. I think that Apple should target the 7-inch touch device market with an iPod touch 7. It would give people the option of using the iOS platform, at a lower price point than the £329 and higher cost for iPad. This would leave the iPad name for the premium tablet space (which Apple owns). An iPod touch 7 could run current iPhone and iPod touch apps doubled up. On a 7 inch retina screen this would be okay. Developers would need design new apps targeted at the 7 inch screen as well.
I wonder if we’ll see an iPod touch 7 at this years September iPod event.