July 11, 2012, 2:25 PM — Google's Nexus 7 tablet can now be ordered on more retail websites worldwide, but so far the less expensive
US$199 model remains exclusive to Google's Play online store, according to current listings.
Retailers such as Staples, B&H Photo and Video, and Best Buy Canada have listed only the pricier Nexus 7
model with 16GB of storage, which starts at $249 depending on the region. The stores have not listed the cheaper
8GB model, which is available on the Google
Play online store for $199.
Google late last month at its developer conference announced the Nexus 7 with 8GB and 16GB of storage. The
tablet, made with Asus, has Google's latest Android 4.1 operating system code-named Jelly Bean and a quad-core
Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. The 16GB model is
priced at $249 on the Google Play store, with shipping beginning in mid-July. The same tablet is also listed for on Staples' website for $249, with shipping
scheduled to start Thursday to next Tuesday.
The tablet has attracted publicity partly for its features, but the $199 price also attracted many buyers who
wanted to check out Android. The 8GB tablet is the most feature-packed in the sub-$200 price range, but at $249 the
Nexus 7 starts competing on price and features with tablets like Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 with a 7.0 inch screen.
The $199 price point is critical to attract buyers to Nexus 7 and Google, which is looking to catch up with
Apple, said Bob O'Donnell, program vice president for client and displays research at IDC. A $199 price boosted the
sales of Amazon's Kindle Fire, which is based on a customized version of Android.
The sales of Google's $199 tablet may not be hurt by exclusivity to the Google Play store, but wider
availability could certainly expand the tablet's market presence, O'Donnell said.
A 16GB Nexus 7 is listed on B&H Photo and
Video's website for $249, and is scheduled to ship on Aug. 15. The same tablet was listed at the same price on
J&R's website and a copy of the page is
available in Google's cache, but the original page has been pulled off the website.