Google launches its Android based Nexus 7 tablet in Japan.
TOKYO, JAPAN (SEPTEMBER 25, 2012) (REUTERS) -Google Inc started selling its Nexus 7 tablet computer in Japan on Tuesday (September 25), aiming to take on Sony in one of the most lucrative markets in the world.
By having a greater role in the tablet arena, Google hopes to ensure that its online services remain at the forefront for consumers, as tablets increasingly become gateways to the Web and Web-based content such as movies and music.
Sony Corp's tablets also run on Google, the world's number one search engine Android operating system.
"There're more than 500 million Android users today, and we're by far the market leader, much larger than the nearest competitor. That's what's really important," Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said at a briefing in Tokyo.
Schmidt also predicted that growth in the smartphone market will lead to a boom in new startups in Japan.
"It is the defining platform and the defining battle in our industry," Schmidt said.
The tablet, which runs on Android 4.1, or "Jelly Bean" operation system, weighs only 340 grammes (0.75 pounds).
"It is phenomenal, absolutely extraordinary. It's the fastest thing I've ever used. It has a very good battery. It's a perfect web browsing device, and I use it all the time. And yes, I keep it in my pocket," Schmidt said.
Sales of the 17.78 centimetres (seven inches) 16-gigabyte tablet opened on the Google Play website on Tuesday with a starting price of 250 U.S. dollars (19,800 yen).
The device will be available in retail stores from October 2.
Japan is the first country in Asia outside Australia to sell the device. According to the Google Play page it's already available in France, Germany, Spain, Canada, the UK and the U.S.
The tablet market is dominated by Apple Corp and its iPad, which represented about 70 percent of global sales in the second-quarter, and includes Amazon.com Inc's Kindle, Barnes & Noble Inc's Nook and Samsung Electronic' s Galaxy Tab.