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How the Nexus 7 was able to knock the iPad from the top spot in Japan

by David Needle

January 18 2013

Are lower-priced alternatives starting to dent the iPad’s dominant market share? A recent study of retail sales in Japan indicates that may be the case.

For the first time since May, 2010, when Apple started selling iPads in Japan, there’s a new top-selling tablet, Google’s Nexus 7.

The research firm BNC surveyed 2,400 retail stores in Japan during the busy December holiday shopping season and, as The Motley Fool reports, Nexus 7 came out on top with 44.4% of Japanese tablet sales, while Apple dropped to 40.1%.

One reason the Nexus 7 may be selling so well in Japan - and seeing solid sales elsewhere including the U.S. - is price.

“Inventory problems played a part in Apple's drop from the top in the Japanese tablet market, but it's the price difference between iPads and Nexus that made all the difference, and that should be an eye-opener for Apple,” says the Motley Fool’s Tim Brugger. “Microsoft can also use Google's ascension in Japan as a learning experience. Microsoft's foray into tablets -- its Surface device -- goes head-to-head with Apple's iPad, and shares one, indisputable flaw: cost.”

The Nexus retails for about $200 in Japan, compared to $300 for the iPad Mini, and $500 for an iPad or Microsoft’s new Surface tablet. 

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