July 23, 2012, 12:44 PM — One of the lessons that seemed to come out of the spectacular failure of HP' webOS-based TouchPad last year was the adage that in the tablet space, you have to either go big or go home.
If that adage holds any water, then there may be a tablet on the market that can stand up to the iPad market behemoth: the Nexus 7.
Anonymous sources told The Guardian that "the search giant seriously underestimated the demand for the 16GB version of its 7in Nexus 7 tablet, which has sold out from [stocklists] and other sources while demand for the smaller 8GB version remains comparatively low."
Analysts pretty much agree that the reason why the 16-GB flavor of the Nexus 7 is selling like hotcakes is because the price differential is so small between it and the 8-GB device--a mere $50. That's a relatively small price to pay for double the storage capacity.
As excited as I am that an Android tablet is kicking butt and taking names, I have to kind of wonder about this conceit that Google was somehow unprepared for the number of orders. I suspect that we're seeing a little bit of artificial demand being created here, to make the Nexus a "get" item and drive up the number of back-orders for the device.
Planned scarcity is one thing, but initial reviews of the Nexus 7 have been positive enough to keep the demand for these tablets genuine.
I think that the Nexus 7 is finally a strong non-Apple competitor in the tablet market for other reasons, as well. Price and mini-tablet form factor are certainly reasons, but there are other issues in play as well.
Cross-Device Familiarity. While it was drastically underplayed, in order to dull down the "giant iPhone" comparisons wags were making when the iPad was released in 2010, the fact is that one of the keys to the iPad's success was the overall market familiarity with the iOS interface, thanks to the iPhone. That, and the capability to buy/download the same apps for both platforms, helped bring in a lot of "built-in" customers.