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Summary:

Even with new devices announced, the Galaxy Note 2 continues to impress. This week, I spent more time learning about the useful S-Pen. Meanwhile, Google’s mobile revenues are app; could content for the Nexus 7 be helping? Acer’s new small slate cuts a few corners.

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Amid new Android device announcements, my attention keeps returning to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. US carriers are readying the 5.5-inch smartphone for sale soon and it’s becoming clear to me that new owners will likely spend a few weeks learning all of the features and functions found in this handset. Not only are there numerous Samsung additions to Android but the digital S-Pen is impressing me more and more.

Custom S-Pen gesturesThe digital pen actually wasn’t part of my Galaxy Note 2 purchase decision at all. However, it’s handy in certain situations and there are more use cases than I initially imagined. Earlier this week, I shared several of the S-Pen features thanks to a Samsung post filled with example uses. Some functions are just a pen-friendly way to do something that’s often easier done in a standard method, but others are pen-specific or best done with the small stylus.

For example, I find a simple web search done via voice in Google Now, which is just a tap and hold of the Menu button on the Galaxy Note 2. To do the same with the pen requires an S-Pen button press, swipe up the screen and inking of a question mark followed by the search information: Not something I’d do often. But to clip a part of a screen, jot down a note or select a block of text? All are made easy with the pen and this type of functionality could help drive sales.

A trio of Nexus 7 tabletsOn another front, everyone’s trying to figure out how many Nexus 7 tablets have been sold. Based on analysts the number is between 700,000 and 1 million for the quarter, depending on who you ask. It’s likely that much of the hardware profit actually goes to Asus, who builds the device for Google; without knowing the contract details between the two, that’s difficult to say, of course. However, Google would certainly keep any revenues made on Google Play purchases from Nexus 7 tablets. The company said its annual mobile run-rate jumped from $2.5 billion last year to $8 billion now and I suspect all those Nexus 7 slates are solid contributors here.

Hoping to also cash in on the small slate market is Acer, which introduced a new 7-inch tablet this week. The Iconia Tab A110 is a 7-incher like most others in this market and costs $230. That price sounds reasonable, but I’m disappointed that Acer chose a 1024 x 600 resolution screen when cheaper competitors are using better displays that look clearer. Given that everything happens on the screen of a tablet — input, output, etc… — it’s one of the most important features as it’s the most used. Still, the new A110 has one benefit over the Nexus 7: It supports HDMI out so you can connect the tablet to bigger, better screen.

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  1. “The company said its annual mobile run-rate jumped from $2.5 billion last year to $8 billion now and I suspect all those Nexus 7 slates are solid contributors here.”

    You really shouldn’t assume such things. Later in the earnings call, they said that the majority of those revenues were from mobile ads.

    It’s been estimated that Google sold 3 million Nexus 7 machines. 3 million times $200 is 6 million dollars. And since Google is selling these at cost, that nets them zero in profits.

    Until Google releases actual numbers on sales and profits made from related sales of content and advertising, we should assume nothing. Or we should assume that the Nexus 7 is underperforming because if it were an actual success, Google would be shouting it from the roof tops.

    1. I hear you, but you’re missing one point: what are people doing with the 3 million Nexus 7s? (And where did the 3m figure come from? ) It’s not unreasonable to think people are buying apps/content from Google Play, which generates revenues for Google, no?

      1. Apple recently said it has paid out $6.5 billion to app developers over all the years. Thus, Apple made 30/70*$6.5 bn = $2.8 bn from apps, between 2008-2012. Total number of apps downloaded to date is 35 bn apps for Apple and 25 bn for Google. If average price of iOS apps and Android apps was similar, Google would have made $2.8 bn*25/35 = $2 bn so far. But, since app monetization success on Android is around 1/4 to 1/2 of iOS, actual revenue realization for Google from android apps is likely to be $0.5 bn to $1 bn. That is since the Android app store launched. Even with a 3x increase in run-rate over last year, revenue from Android app sales this year is unlikely to be more than $0.5 bn or so. Put another way, app sales revenue is about 5-7% of Google’s total mobile revenue.

    2. It looks someone does not know basic math or how to use a calculator. 3 million times 200 is 600,000,000.00 not 6 million as represented here.

      1. Lol, web math is different than real math.

  2. Completely Completely wrong Calculation. You should refer to activated android 4.1 gadgets in play store. according to these statistics it reached nearly 1.8% of 500 million existing gadgets before advent of other phones and tablets with updated version 4.1 of phone and tablets. so it was nearly 9 million.

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