Steve Jobs Was Wrong: Google’s New Nexus 7 Proves Smaller Tablets Aren’t Completely Worthless

Innovation, the Internet, gadgets, and more.
June 29 2012 6:24 PM

Steve Jobs Was Wrong

Google’s new Nexus 7 proves smaller tablets aren’t completely worthless.

(Continued from Page 1)

But Google, unlike Amazon, doesn’t sell physical stuff, so it can’t justify the low price of the Nexus 7 on the expectation of huge e-commerce sales. Sure, the search company does sell media—you can buy books, music, and subscribe to magazines from the Nexus, but the selection is thin compared with what’s available in Amazon or Apple’s media stores. If you get a Nexus 7, you’re better off relying on other sources for media. For books, install the Kindle app and buy from Amazon. For movies, use the Netflix app. For music, use Spotify.

Well, what about advertising? Google makes most of its money from ads, and boosting advertising revenue is the central goal behind Android. The more Android devices Google sells, the more people use its services, and thus, the more people see its ads. So if Google sells a lot of Nexus 7s, couldn’t it make a lot more money from ads?

Not really. Google makes only about $4 per year in ad revenue from every Android device, according to an analysis by Asymco’s Horace Dediu. So if Google sells 10 million Nexus 7s—far more than anyone expects—it would make $40 million a year from the device. For a company that made nearly $12 billion in profits last year, that’s nothing to crow about. (What’s more, two-thirds of Google’s mobile advertising revenue comes through Apple devices. If people choose the Nexus 7 over the iPad, Google might not be making any more money than it would have anyway.)

Advertisement

Google’s real goal with the Nexus 7 can’t be to make money. Instead, the tablet is a marketing device. Google wants to hop on the tablet train before it’s too late. It’s been two years since the iPad was released, and so far no one has managed to create a plausible alternative. The Nexus 7 is an effort to get people to believe that Android tablets aren’t terrible. It’s good enough to be usable for most people, and just cheap enough to get a lot of folks to give it a try. And if you get the Nexus 7 and find that it isn’t so bad, maybe one day you’ll be willing to give other, not-so-cheap Android tablets a try.

It’s a circuitous plan, and it could well fail. In the meantime, though, you might as well enjoy Google’s pretty good, cheap tablet.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 19 2014 6:22 PM Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.