nexus 10 vs microsoft surface

If you’re one of the millions who have had the chance of getting a Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 since their launch, then congratulations. But even as the Nexus tablets has been lauded to have increased the popularity of Android as a tablet platform with their relatively low price compared with value, it seems the Asus-built Nexus 7 and Samsung-built Nexus 10 have not made enough of a presence in terms of web use.

Data from advertising company Chitika indicates that Nexus tablets only account for less than 1% of web traffic. The company actually tried to determine use between Nexus tablets and the Microsoft surface, and the figures barely scratch the surface, so to speak. Traffic from Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 were at 0.91%, while Surface accounted for only 0.13%.

Microsoft Surface vs Nexus tablets-w600

While Microsoft itself admitted that Surface sales were only modest at best, the same may not be said for Google’s Nexus devices, which have been selling like hotcakes since their launch. What could have led to Chitika’s dismal web usage figures?

  • Android engagement paradox (again)? Earlier, we posited how Android seems to suffer from the so-called engagement paradox. There is growth in terms of numbers, but users are not buying enough from their devices, nor are Android users as active as iOS users in terms of web browsing. We can argue that the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are not cheap, entry-level devices, and so the UI, screen sizes, perforamnce and OS are not negatively affecting user experience. So why aren’t Nexus tablet users browsing more actively?
  • Chitika as a limited proxy. We can also argue that Chitika is only limited, insofar as its ability to track web traffic. Chitika is just one of the many ad services out there, and it may not be as popular as Google’s own AdWords service, which will tend to skew the data toward certain markets.
  • Differences in audience. There is also an interesting idea that might have contributed to the low engagement figures: Nexus users tend to be techies, while the iPad has a good mix of tech-enthusiasts and casual user. There is a difference in the content that an enthusiast consumes, compared with the general audience. Could this have contributed to the low web use data from the Nexus tablets, given the differences in browsing patterns and preferences between Android users and the rest of the tablet-using world?
  • Headstart? Chitika notes, though, that the Nexus 7 had a headstart over the Surface, having launched earlier this year (July vs. October). But I highly doubt whether Surface will overtake Nexus tablets anytime soon, given the popularity of Android as a platform.

Perhaps the more interesting figure here would not be the data on Nexus tablet family itself, but rather the one on Microsoft Surface. While Microsoft seems to be confident about its modest sales figures, a 0.13% share in traffic is nothing to call home about. Another interesting point to note would be whether Apple’s introduction of the iPad Mini is hurting sales of competitors in similar price ranges and form factors.

Should Android manufacturers be worried? If we compare Android with Windows 8 RT as platforms, then Android wins in terms of popularity and engagement. But relative to the whole tablet ecosystem, Nexus devices can certainly do better, at least if we take into account Chitika’s traffic figures.

J. Angelo Racoma
J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise platforms, and is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team that offers digital content and marketing services.