Nexus Devices - Low Prices in a Competitive Market
Have a look at this link: https://play.google.com/store/devices Google's positioning of Nexus devices as highly affordable alternatives to Apple's suite of products continues to be more and more aggressively direct. There are a lot of people on this forum for whom cost is a side issue. It's not going to come between them and their ideal new phone, whether or not they're loyal to a particular ecosystem.
But holy crap do those Nexus devices come at a very, very tempting price. The Nexus 7, in the UK at least, is about to become available in a wide range of main street retailers. At £199 or less, it's going to seem like a no-brainer for a lot people who have hitherto been unable to afford iPads to just jump in and get one of these for Christmas. And although the Nexus 10 has some software limitations at this stage, there are people who'll respond very well to the sub £400 price mark.
Most of all I think the Nexus 4 (16GB = £279) deserves special mention because its competitors in the field are hundreds of pounds more expensive and phones, as we know, are where it counts in terms of getting people to buy in to an ecosystem. People have asked how Google are achieving this price point, which is an interesting question, but more interesting to me is imagining what the smartphone market share pie charts will look like 6 and 12 months from now. There are plenty of people who have never owned a high-end smartphone but who would respond well if you told them they could have an "iPhone kind of phone" for less than £300 up front.
Even for me, while I'm really tempted by the Lumia 920 because I want to get into app development and would much rather learn C# than Java, it is getting difficult to justify the cost against the Nexus 4. If you remove the C# vs. Java argument, it is hands down the phone I'd choose right now. I've been on iPhone for two years and am thoroughly bored with iOS, although I still think the iPhone 4 will go down in history as one of the most aesthetically accomplished mobile phone designs ever.
Regardless of personal perspective on this, and ignoring the kind of nitty gritty details we debate online in forums such as this one as gadget aficionados, the wider market for smartphones is entering a very interesting phase. I don't want to overstate things, but I feel that it's worth pointing out that Google's strategy here is pretty solid. Apple refuses to make budget devices. It associates itself with the elite. Fine. Google have come along and given something to the masses - at a price the masses can afford. Google is provoking Apple into a price war, which is something to which Apple will surely never lower themselves.
Google will probably be able, after some time, to capitalise on giving people the impression that Apple is simply out of touch with consumer expectations of value for money. If people respond well enough to Nexus, it's going to be difficult for Apple to retaliate effectively and quickly. Then again, if people don't take to the Nexus line well enough, Google will have lost a very big bet.
But for me, Google's strategy is the one that makes more business sense in this day and age and it is the logical (and only?) way to challenge Apple's position as market leader.