Sales of Google’s (GOOG) low-cost Nexus 7 tablet have reportedly topped Apple’s (AAPL) iPad over the holiday season in Japan. Nikkei cites market research firm BCN in reporting that a survey of 2,400 stores across Japan suggests that Google’s 7-inch tablet accounted for 44.4% of all tablet sales by large electronics vendors in the region. Despite the launch of the iPad mini, sales of Apple tablets were said to account for 40.1% of all tablet sales over the period. It is unclear if Apple stores were included in the firm’s poll.

Google’s Nexus 7 is designed as a land grab and in Japan, it is clearly working in that regard. Nikkei notes that the Nexus 7 costs 19,800 yen in Japan, compared to entry-level prices of 42,800 yen and 28,800 yen for the iPad and iPad mini, respectively.

The Japanese arm of market research firm IDC notes that Japan is a relatively small market, though — according to its estimates, a total of 3.6 million tablets were sold in Japan during 2012.