Google on Wednesday finally took the wraps off of its much rumored next-generation Nexus 7 tablet, which is easily the most impressive small-form tablet in the world on paper. Featuring a 7-inch display with 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution, a quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a 5-megapixel camera and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, many industry watchers see the Nexus 7 as a winner and consensus estimates for 2013 shipments fall between 5 million and 7 million units. But a new research note from plugged-in KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests Nexus 7 sales will miss estimates by a potentially wide margin, and the real star of the show where Google devices are concerned is the upcoming Moto X smartphone.
“While the second-generation Nexus 7 showcases Retina display and wireless charging, among other features, the user experience is little changed as compared to other Android tablets,” Kuo wrote in a note to clients picked up by AppleInsider. “It is also more expensive due to higher component costs. These factors are leading to below-consensus shipments.”
Kuo believes Google will sell just 3.5 million to 4 million Nexus 7 tablets into channels between now and the end of the year.
Where the upcoming Moto X smartphone is concerned, however, Kuo is thoroughly impressed with what we know about the device so far. As a result, he revised his 2013 shipment estimates to 5.5 million units, up from his earlier projection of just 3.5 million devices.
“With hardware, software, and services converging as a trend, Google is expected to shift more resources into hardware,” Kuo said. “By integrating hardware and software to speed up innovation and by launching new flagship models, Google could come to be regarded as a beacon of superior product design in the chaotic Android camp.”
Google and Motorola will unveil the Moto X during a press conference next Thursday, and BGR will be on hand reporting live.