Google Nexus 7 sales likely topped at 4.6 million in 2012, says analyst

by: David GonzalesFebruary 20, 2013

iPad mini vs Nexus 7
Like most sensible business entities, Google doesn’t really like talking numbers. Instead, it prefers raking them in — in the form of money, that is. As a result, the public does not currently have access to information on actual sales figures of its Nexus-branded tablets and smartphones, information that would be very useful in gauging the company’s performance compared with some of its biggest competitors and their respective products.

Still, as the saying goes, when there’s a will, there’s a way. And the way that the world can now know exactly how many Nexus 7 tablets Google sold last year is through methodically calculated estimates provided by mobile industry analyst Benedict Evans.

Based on sales information supplied by the Google Nexus 7’s actual manufacturer, Asus, as well as comments made by the company’s CEO back in 2012, Evans says that Google likely sold about 4.6 million units of the Nexus 7 before 2012 officially came to a close. This actually matches up with sales forecasts made by certain firms prior to 2013.

And just how well did the Nexus 7 perform against its main competitors in terms of sales in 2012? Unfortunately, not well at all. As Evans points out, Apple most likely sold around 10 million units of the iPad mini during the same time period, beating Google and the Nexus 7 by more than double the amount of sales. He posits that Amazon likely outsold Google with the Kindle Fire as well.

In any case, there’s nothing to indicate that Google won’t be able to catch up eventually. In places like Japan, the iPad is already losing in terms of popularity.

  • kascollet

    So Apple sold 10M Minis in two months (November + December) vs 4,6M N7 in more than 6. That’s bad news.

  • melci

    You’ve got it wrong. Apple sold more iPad minis in 2 months (supposedly 10 million out of the 23 million ipads sold that quarter) than Google sold of the Nexus 7 in 6 months (4.6 million).

    The iPad mini was only available for 2 months of 2012 (shipped In November) while the Nexus 7 was released in July.

    In fact Apple sold more iPads in the 3 days after the launch of the iPad mini (3 million) than Google sold of the Nexus 7 in its first entire three months on the market ( a little over 2 million).

    Estimates for sales of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD over its first three months on the market were also low at only 2.5 million according to IDC.

    So despite having higher resolution screens and costing almost half the price of the iPad mini, the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire were both decimated by the iPad mini last year.

    • Yea, but you also neglect to mention the grip apple has on it’s fans as does Windows vs. Apple in the PC arena. Androids Nexus line is it first tablet push and is basically just to get noticed. Also 8.3 million were Sold in the U.S. not counting other countries where Android is in the lead. To compare two first launchers for Amazon and Google to a highly known tablet maker for about 6 years is stupid IMO. It’s like when sony dropped the PSx and it under sold to the N64. Once google gets its marketing stratergy down and its own store…then the heat will be on

      • melci

        No, it is an entirely valid comparison as the Nexus smartphone brand has been in existence for 3 years and the Kindle Fire for a year and a half and the Kindle brand in general for 6 years.

        At the launch of the Kindle Fire and then the Nexus tablet, Android fans gloated that with such cheap below-cost prices, Apple’s iPad would be toast in no time.

        As an Android fan, you now need to come to the realisation that even at half the price of the iPad, the Nexus has proved to not be competitive with the iPad mini or the iPad in general to the tune of not even selling 20% as many devices.

        Oh and the half a billion iOS devices out there and half a billion active iTunes/App Store credit card accounts tell us that iPad buyers come from a far larger proportion of the population than just hard-core Apple fans.

        • Gloating is like promoting. Your comparing a Nexus phone line to a tablet line established in 2012 ? Really ? I am fairly looking at both and a marketing major so I know what I’m talking about. Apple devices are over promoted on the web and TV. Google is relying on hear say. Would you buy a tablet you haven’t seen on TV or spread by mass amounts of people ? Probably not and this is that case.

          • melci

            David, if you like we could compare the iPad line against the Samsung Galaxy Tab line instead to see whether Samsung’s absolutely massive marketing and promotion budget (11x larger than Apple’s) makes any difference. I’m afraid however that the same massive difference is evident.

            Under court-order, Samsung admitted to having only sold 37,000 tablets in Q2 2012 in the USA, the nation with the largest number of Android and iOS devices. In the world’s second largest Android & iOS market, Apple also captured 73% tablet marketshare in China the same quarter according to Analysys International.

            Considering the USA was the number 1 country in the world in terms of number of active Android and iOS devices at the time with 165 million with China next at 138 million and the UK a distant third at 31 million and every other country with smaller numbers than that according to Flurry, these results in the USA and China were very revealing.

            Likewise, despite the enormous profile given to the Kindle Fire HD on the front page of, IDC report that tablet had only fractionally more sales than the Nexus 7 over the last 6 months.

            Are you not seeing a pattern here?

          • Lol yes and yet again your comparing devices with little to no publicity and fairly new. People don’t think when purchasing as we say in class. The minds of the masses are lead by what is told be to cool or new by promoting and already being established (Apple) from a previous market. As well as opinions of sale persons in store (which apple has and has vendors, where as most androids don’t ) on top of that Androids is still fairly new. People said the same about apple back in the 90’s when they duked it out with windows and failed, but 5 years later a new Mac OS and marketing with overpricing and bam back in it. Creative labs ran the MP3 market…Apple well known and creative not came in pushed the iPod and because we all knew apple brought one. As I said to compare these two is stupid ATM.

            Samsung fails at its marketing its tablet line because of its phone and phablet focus. I didn’t see much promotion for the tab out on the streets and the radio…like I do with Apple. On top of that this was googles first shot at the tablet industry.

          • melci

            You’re obviously on a different planet. Samsung’s advertising and promotions budget is 11x larger than Apple’s.

            I can’t say how many times I’ve seen ads of guys driving down the beach filming wild horses on their Galaxy tablets.

  • Rishank

    It is just further proof that people buy shitty expensive products just because they are made by apple.

    • kascollet

      Yeah, sure, Microsoft/Ubuntu/Android/Blackberry tablets are all so much better…

  • The problem is that there is not enough physical retail presence or marketing behind the Nexus products. If someone walking in a shopping mall touched and felt a Nexus 7, compared it to the iPad mini, and noticed that the Nexus is faster, has a better display, and is cheaper, they’ll buy it. As it stands, people walk into an Apple store and compare the iPad mini at $300 to the iPad 4 at $500 and then assume that they will be saving $200 because they purchased a mini, not at all realising that they have been suckered.

    • melci

      What, so selling at below cost as Google and Amazon do with the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire do is the datum point for fair-priced now? Hardly.

      When you compare Apple’s iPads with the pricing of Samsung’s Galaxy tabs you realise Apple’s price premium is more than reasonable considering their customers are more than happy to pay a bit extra for the iOS ecosystem, vast library of tablet-optimised apps and non-plastic build quality.