Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, by all accounts a consumer-oriented device targeting Amazon Kindle Fire’s market share, has not been released to the company’s channel partners yet. Nonetheless, partners say the device can help them by increasing interest in and adoption of other Google products and services.
Unveiled Wednesday in San Francisco at the Google I/O developers conference, Nexus 7 sports a 7-inch screen, a new version of its Android operating system processor called Jelly Bean, and a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, including a 12-core GPU. It costs $199 and offers access to movies, books and magazines, all displayed in colorful, high resolution.
Channel partners said Nexus 7 is not for the enterprise, but they would nonetheless like to include it in their portfolio at some point.
“It’s aimed squarely at consumers, at the lower end, with a small form factor, but if you take the concept and make it a more enterprise-size device with more features, it can have enterprise potential," said Tony Safoian, president and CEO of solution provider SADA Systems, of North Hollywood, Calif., which sells both Google and Microsoft products.
“Of course, we would like to have it available in the channel, but it seems like they are focused on winning the hearts and minds of the consumer now," he said.
Nexus 7 may eventually complement Chromebooks sales, said Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global, a Westborough, Mass.-based cloud provider that sells Google Apps.
“Nexus is not in the Google Apps partner channel, yet,” Falcon said. “We will, however, help companies integrate the Nexus 7 into their computing environments. The Nexus 7 is a good platform for running Google Apps and other cloud-based solutions.”
Nexus 7 offers access and convenience, while the Chromebook provides a more robust user experience with a full keyboard and larger screen, Falcon added.
“We see uses for both devices,” he said. “Chromebooks and Chromboxes are more likely to replace desktops, laptops, notebooks and netbooks -- in the office and out. The Nexus 7 will start as a ‘convenience’ device for checking emails and documents when out of the office.”
NEXT: Nexus May Beat Out Kindle And Surface, Partners SayDavid Hoff, co-founder and senior vice president of operations and technology of Cloud Sherpas, an Atlanta, Ga.-based solution provider and Google partner, said Nexus will be a strong competitor to Amazon Kindle Fire.
“We are not currently an Android hardware reseller, so it is not something that we sell directly,” he said. “I'm sure that it will be available via the mainstream consumer channels, although I'm sure Amazon might not stock it as aggressively as the Kindle Fire.”
Hoff said Nexus 7 has several key advantages over Kindle Fire, including more CPU capacity, the inclusion of Google Play store and a camera. He added that Kindle Fire lacks the support that Google offers, including Gmail and Google Play store. Nexus 7 also will win customers quicker than Microsoft Surface, the tablet scheduled for release later this year.
“Given the low price point and the relatively well-outfitted hardware specs, the Nexus 7 will likely capture a good bit of market share in short order, much more than the Microsoft Surface,” Hoff said.
Overall, Nexus 7 will bring more users into the Google universe of cloud-based products and services, said Tom Mainelli, IDC research director for mobile connected devices.
"The main thing is Google is realizing they need to get more people into their ecosystem," he said.
PUBLISHED JUNE 27, 2012