Android iPhone and iPad

Why The Nexus 7 Is Competition For The iPad [Opinion]

Dave Parrack 11-07-2012

nexus 7 vs ipadGoogle unveiled the Nexus 7, its long-awaited foray into the burgeoning tablet market, at Google I/O last month. The combination of hardware, design, and price took many by surprise, with all three of these components being about the best we could have hoped for from such a device at this time.


The reviews from people testing the Nexus 7 for an extended period have been almost unanimously positive. However, while many have rightly compared the Nexus 7 to the Kindle Fire, and stated that Google’s effort blows Amazon’s out of the water, few would even mention the Nexus 7 in the same breath as the Apple iPad. I disagree with this inherent refusal to put the two on a par.

I believe the Nexus 7 is competition for the iPad and I feel competition to Apple’s stranglehold on the tablet market is exactly what’s needed at this juncture.

The iPad Vs. Everything Else

nexus 7 vs ipad

To understand how the Nexus 7 will prove to be competition for the iPad we first need to understand Apple’s offering. The new iPad, as unveiled in March is a 10-inch tablet boasting a Retina Display, front- and rear-facing cameras, and a new quad-core CPU. It’s very pleasing on the eye and, by all accounts, is a joy to use New iPad Review and Giveaway The third generation (2012) iPad was announced on March 7, 2012, and have recently reached their new owners across the globe. How does it compare to its predecessors -- the iPad 2 and original iPad?... Read More .

Even I, the person who wrote an article entitled ‘5 Reasons The New iPad Sucks 5 Reasons the New iPad Sucks As you're no doubt aware thanks to the blanket coverage all across the Web, Apple unveiled its latest hardware on March 7. That hardware being "the new iPad," or "iPad (third-generation)," or, as most people... Read More ‘ appreciate that it’s probably the best tablet on the market right now. There are some premium Android tablets on the market (such as the Transformer Prime ASUS Transformer Prime Review and Giveaway When it comes to getting a tablet, I've taken a long time to explore all of the possibilities. In the end, I opted to stick with the operating system that I fell in love with... Read More ) that are very close, but Apple’s tablet is the most likely to please those who purchase it. That’s why it has sold in the quantities it has, while the competition has invariably struggled.


The Google Nexus 7

nexus 7 vs ipad

Entering stage left is the Nexus 7, manufactured by Asus but with Google’s stamp all over it, figuratively and literally. The Nexus 7 boasts a 7-inch IPS display with 216 ppi (pixels-per-inch) made of Corning glass, a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, a front-facing camera, GPS, Bluetooth, and NFC, and battery life of around 8 hours. It also comes with stock Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), meaning no bloatware or ugly overlay to deal with.

The Nexus 7 is available in two flavors – an 8GB version costing $199 and a 16GB version costing $249. These price points compare favorably with Apple’s current options – the new iPad at $499, the iPad 2 at $399 – and is on a par with the Kindle Fire, which costs $199 at the time of writing. In terms of quality there is a gulf between the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 though.

The Best Of Both Worlds

The Nexus 7 offers the best of both worlds. It has a quality display that will be more than enough for most people, the processor is phenomenal, the RAM very capable, and the 7-inch form factor is proving to be increasingly popular. Steve Jobs may have hated it but there’s a strong chance Apple will be launching its own mini-iPad Why Apple Should Release A Mini iPad [Opinion] There have been numerous rumors of late concerning Apple's plans to release a smaller version of the iPad. In fact, there have been similar rumors ever since Steve Jobs first stood on stage and unveiled... Read More at some point over the next few months with Tim Cook installed as CEO.


It also offers stock Android, which many people will prefer to iOS for various reasons, and also prefer to Amazon’s overburdened overlay. Android has been vastly improved as an operating system for tablets too, which is probably the reason Google waited until now before bringing the Nexus name to the tablet market.

Creation Vs. Consumption

The big question is whether the Nexus 7 will be used just for the consumption of content or if it will allow for the creation of content as well. The Kindle Fire was built to fulfill the first, with Amazon using its overlay to channel everything through its own storefront. This is how the online retailer keeps its costs down – offering the hardware on the cheap and making the money from sales of music, movies, and more down the line. The iPad can be used in either capacity, with people increasingly using the iPad to create as well as consume.

For the Nexus 7 to compete on a level playing field with Apple’s tablet it needs to be capable of being used in a productive fashion. The 7-inch screen won’t be as comfortable to write on as the 10-inch screen of the iPad, but I’ve managed perfectly well taking notes on my cheap Android tablet Why I Chose To Buy A Cheap Android Tablet [Opinion] After doing a little more research than was healthy, I took the plunge and chose a tablet. One which I now own and use every day. It wasn't an iPad, or even a name-brand Android... Read More that I cannot see this being a problem.

It’s important to note that the iPad isn’t the best tool for the job either – with a physical keyboard always winning out over a touchscreen – but it’s often the closest to hand. The Nexus 7, with its pocket-friendly size, will be even closer to hand, and on more occasions.


One Ring Tablet To Rule Them All

Why The Nexus 7 Is Competition For The iPad [Opinion] one ring to rule them all

From previous articles I have written some may have formed the impression I’m a Windows and/or Android fanboy (delete as applicable), or at the very least an anti-Apple zealot. This isn’t the case at all. I like good technology that is priced fairly.

I’m not a particular fan of Apple’s closed system or its need to control every aspect of its products, and the price tags Apple assigns to everything it sells are extraordinary (a laptop costing $2,199 Is The New Retina MacBook Pro For You? [Opinion] When Apple announced the MacBook Pro with Retina display a few weeks ago, I was pretty sure it would end up being my next laptop. I’ve waited a long time to upgrade and after being... Read More , I ask you!). But my ultimate desire is for one thing and one thing alone – competition.

It’s this that drives innovation and stops the big tech firms falling into a pattern of offering lazy incremental upgrades on an annual basis. Right now Apple is in just that position, dominating the tablet market so fully that it can do the bare minimum each year to stay on top. Having one tablet to rule them all isn’t good for anyone, including Apple. Which is why we all need the Nexus 7 to succeed.



To sum up I firmly believe Google’s first branded tablet will provide healthy competition for the iPad, for the following reasons:-

  • The price brings the Nexus 7 into ‘impulse buy’ range.
  • The 7-inch form factor will appeal to a wider demographic.
  • The hardware bridges the gap between consumption and creation.
  • Android has come of age against an increasingly tired-looking iOS.

All of these reasons count, and all will contribute to the Nexus 7 eating into sales of the iPad, despite what those who regard the Apple tablet as untouchable may believe. Whether you agree or disagree please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Opinion is free, discussion is good, debate is healthy.

Image Credit: bandita

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  1. Roger E
    August 7, 2012 at 6:16 am

    idk y everyone is hatin on apple. they got good intentions, just cuz they dont follow the same methods as the other companys doesnt make them bad. they just want to make money like all companys. thats y they make things that work better with their products. give them a break guys.

    • Stephen B
      August 7, 2012 at 6:19 am

      [Shoots new iPad] "I'm sorry, did I break your concentration? I didn't mean to do that. Please, continue, you were saying something about best intentions. What's the matter? Oh, you were finished! Well, allow me to retort." - Chinese teenagers making $0.60 a day to make Apple products, surrounded by "suicide nets" to keep the workers from jumping out the windows to their deaths. End of story.

  2. Mistry_Land
    July 31, 2012 at 9:24 am


  3. denny Gl
    July 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    quadcore at cheapcost is new.but does adding a sd and will increase in high cost google can think of it

  4. allan jay monteclaro
    July 22, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Me like. I hope the price here in the Philippines is as reasonable as the one in US.

  5. Mani Ahmed
    July 20, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I have been always biased against Apple products, even though owning ma self 3 of the 3 items from its product line (iphone, iPod & Macbook), i have not owned a iPad but instead been using a chinese Novo7 tablet to my hearts content. However no matter what i think the graphics quality of both the hardware and the software and the quality of touch screen on apple has never been beaten. Another issue which i personally have no issues but always find maself in a predicament when my wife complains is that all android appls on the Google Play are not necessarily to work, whereas App Store apps are almost always applicable and always run smoothly.

    • Donnie T
      August 6, 2012 at 3:48 am

      Yes, this is a known disadvantage to the Android OS called fragmentation. You see, Android devices are made by a variety of different manufacturers with an even larger variety of specifications. To compound the issue even further, some of these manufacturers put their own UI skin over the OS, and because of these differences, each device has to be tested independently for each OS. So when making an app, the developer has to take into account 3 factors: device specs, idiosyncracies of custom UI's, and OS versions. It is difficult to make apps that will work on every device. This is quite a disadvantage for Android. In its defense, it does have a system that in theory filters out incompatible apps from being able to be viewed in the market on devices they cannot run on. This does not always work.

      However, the positive side of this is the same as the cause. Android users have many phones to choose from, and this choice guarantees that they will find a phone to suit their needs. Most apps are made with the higher end phones in mind first, so if you are looking for something with high compatibility a high-end device is your best bet.

      Hell, if you have Tasker App Factory, you can even make your own apps very easily, with little or no programming knowledge whatsoever.

      I have the Galaxy S 3 and in my opinion it is the best phone being made right now. Period. If it means I have to pass on a couple of apps, like iBoobs or Poop Time (lol it ridiculous apps), I can live with it.

    • Sam
      August 7, 2012 at 6:04 am

      Yes, Ahmed, sadly it is true that Android devices are more prone to app/device compatibilty issues than Apple devices. The reason for this is a common issue known as fragmentation. You see, there are many manufacturers who make Android devices to a variety of specifications. They also often put custom UI skins over the Android OS, changing the look and sometimes in small ways, the functionality. And finally, because of these differences, each device must be tested individually for compatibility with each release of a new OS version. Because there are so many variables, app developers have to consider all of them when making an app. So between OS version, hardware, and UI customization, it is very difficult to create an app that is universally compatible. For this reason, most are catered to higher-end devices, as these seem to be more popular.

      With every cloud, however, comes a silver lining. The reason that this issue exists is because of the freedom provided to you by an Android device. You can choose a device that meets your exact needs as far as specifications, and with devices continually being released, you do not have to wait until the next version comes out when it is time to do an upgrade (unless you have your eye on a specific device). For me, this vastly outweighs the issue of fragmentation, because competition is the driving factor behind innovation. Manufacturers compete to build the best devices, and we are the benefactors. If one phone doesn't have what we want, we have the freedom to choose another one.

      What it comes down to is priorities. If it is very important to have virtually every app work perfectly with your phone's hardware, go with the iPhone. If it is more important for you to have the hardware to run just about any app, and do anything you want with it, Android is the way to go.

      I have a Galaxy S III, and would challenge any iPhone owner to show me something (useful) their phone can do that mine can't.

  6. Shawn Ashree Baba
    July 17, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    The Nexus 7 looks amazing! Hoping to get one soon.

  7. Kylee Kanavas
    July 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I hope they do a giveaway for this. Hint hint hint. LOL

    • Dave Parrack
      July 17, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      I'm first in line! I'll pass the request on :)

  8. Protaginets
    July 12, 2012 at 4:09 am

    I'm an iOS fanboy. I admit it. I've used every generation iPhone and iPad. I have a lot of money invested in iOS. I did try a Samsung Galaxy S when I moved to Canada. Honestly, it was my worst experience with any phone. Horrible battery life once I tried customizing it. It also started crashing all the time. I returned mine for an iPhone 4 within days. My wife is stuck with her Galaxy S. She hates Android because of that phone. Also there is the fact that I look at android as a bold faced theft of iOS. Mind you, I don't look at it as a good theft either. People who complain about the closed system Apple uses, I laugh at you. If PCs were as "closed" as iOS, you think we'd have all the virus and security issues that PCs have? Doubt it. I will stick with closed iOS and stay away from Android and crashes and buggy software. To those who love Android, more power to you.. Hopefully more patience too, you'll need it..

    • Dave Parrack
      July 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      I've used both the Galaxy S and S II and haven't experienced those problems you did. It's a shame your wife can't get ICS as it's much improved over Gingerbread.

      You prefer the closed system, others prefer the open system. Neither is faultless, neither is wrong.

    • CmdrTobs
      July 28, 2012 at 10:18 am

      That's the problem. Crappy constructors and rushed products give Android a bad name. I have a Samsung galaxy S and they have a known filesystem problem that makes them incredibly slow and the touch wiz interface is riddled with bugs and resource leaks. On paper the snapdragon 1Ghz Nexus was 'slower' however was MUCH faster than the samsung as it didn't come with all the bugs.

      These bugs are almost never mentioned by reviewers, all you ever heard at the time was "OMG the galaxy S is a super phone" nobody mentioned the bugs that remained unfixed that actually meant day to day it was slower than phones a year older than it.

      Also I don't like liars like Dave Parrack, they don't help. The galaxy S file system flaw is extremely well documented just goolde "Galaxy S lag fix". Makes me think you didn't use the phone, just did a few synthetic benchmarks that tested it's then high end CPU and declared it 'epic' ignoring the mirriad of hardware/software problems it had.

      • Edward Richardson
        August 6, 2012 at 3:39 am

        Well I gotta say, I have had the Galaxy S III since it came out, and its still pretty EPIC. No lag, super smooth, and the best mobile operating system out right now besides Android 4.1, which it will be getting very soon.

    • Edward Richardson
      August 6, 2012 at 3:36 am

      A rip off of Apple's OS? But Apple never ripped anyone else off right? Are you aware Apple is trying to claim rights to the RECTANGLE? The shape of a rectangle with rounded edges, Apple claims, is their intellectual property. Even though my PPC6700 that I had years before the iPhone was a rectangle... With ROUNDED EDGES. Android has had global intuitive voice search for years (before Siri). Original UI from Mac, stolen from Xerox. The current came from a Unix based OS. Smartphones have been around long before the iPhone, and touchscreen tablets long before the iPad. But then when something has something similar to a product of theirs (like the same shape) they will sue in a heartbeat. Threatened much?

  9. Ben
    July 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    What I don't get, about the Nexus 7 is why they would leave out Micro SD.

    • Jake
      July 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      There is minimal storage and no SD card because Google wants Nexus 7 users to stream everything from Google Drive and other online storage sites. It's a portal (like the Chromebook philosophy) rather than a little computer. I've pre-ordered mine, and they also give you $25 to spend on Google Play, since they want users to get used to buying apps on that site.

  10. Peggy Delisi
    July 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    It sounds like the Nexus 7 will be real competition to the I Pad and other tablets but I do not like that the Nexus 7 does not have a Micro SD card and I am NOT impressed with a 1.2 MP camera!! I would rather pay a little more and have a better camera and even more so, have a Micro SD card slot.

  11. cashforipads
    July 11, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I can’t compare them from each other because I haven’t experienced using all of them. I tried using Samsung Tablet and I was pissed off because of the time-lag whenever I’m trying to open different apps at the same it. I don’t know if I’m just the only one who experienced it. It always has a delayed response.

  12. Mayur Godhani
    July 11, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I personally like Android powered Nexus :)

  13. Dave
    July 11, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Since the original iPad we have had promises of a useable Android tablet that would be a game changer. I laughed at my brother when he drank the apple coolaid. My other brother purchased Asus transformer prime, in hopes of Icecream which, in his words was slightly better as it crashed a little less frequently, he recently dropped it and it is now a dead brick. Me I purchased the iPad 2 after trying my brothers iPad. Not only have I found it very useable, I havehad the distinct un-pleasure of dropping it now sever times, enough to severely dent the edges and back, and it keeps on working.

    Every time I see a comparison between the IPad and the newest greatest Android tablet, I remember a friend of mine preaching about how Linux will take the world by storm and Microsoft will meet its demise, that evil usable microsoft OS.....ewwwwww

    Please, no more comparisons, just show us the new tablets, and talk about the functionality. How many times can one talk about HP tab and how wonderful palm os is for the free world? Oh I forgot they gave that one away and crap canned the os.

    It's inane to compare Chevy Vrs Ford, in the gadget world. Or ford Vrs Chevy?

    • Dave Parrack
      July 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

      I'm not sure you can blame Asus for a dropped tablet not working. You've been lucky with your iPad but if I dropped any hardware I'd expect it to stop working.

      The comparisons have to be made because at the moment the iPad owns the tablet space. When all tablets are on more of a level playing field I suspect the comparison will cease.

  14. HildyJ
    July 11, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Two other things I would add. First, the weight. I have a Win 7 tablet, comparable in size and weight to the latest iPad, and it is too heavy for extended use unless you prop it on something. The Nexus is half that weight, making it more usable and portable. Second, the OS, starring with Google Now, is superior to both the existing and rumored Apple OS.

    • Steven B
      August 6, 2012 at 3:25 am

      Absolutely agree, OS-wise, Apple can't cut it. Perfect for teenage girls and senior citizens, (which make up the biggest part of their demographic) but if you want a real OS go with Android.

  15. Bluebriz
    July 11, 2012 at 1:49 am

    I haven't tried any of the Android tablets yet, but I do have an old android phone. I have however, tried Iphone, Ipod touch, and the newest Ipad, and to be honest, I find them sluggish and unresponsive. No doubt the Apple products are well made, but I don't think they're worth the price. I'm not saying the Google tablets are either because I haven't tried them, but for performance I was personally disappointed with the new Ipad.

    Hopefully the market can support everyone's preference!

  16. Chris Hoffman
    July 11, 2012 at 1:46 am

    I pre-ordered it -- really excited to finally have a solid Android tablet with guaranteed updates.

    Even if you're an Apple fan, competition is good.

    (Steve Jobs said 7" tablets would need to ship with sandpaper so users could sand their fingers down -- I just wonder what grain of sandpaper the 7" iPads will ship with.)

    • Dave Parrack
      July 11, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Re the iPad Mini, I'm already seeing Apple fans stating that it's nearer 8-inches (7.85-inch screen) so it's not going against Steve Jobs. Yeah, yeah lol.

      • Chris Hoffman
        July 15, 2012 at 12:35 am

        The reality distortion field is alive and well.

      • Sam
        August 6, 2012 at 3:23 am

        And this sandpaper comment coming from the founder of the company that makes the smartphone with one of the smallest (if not THE smallest) displays on the market. (3.5") Gonna need a LOT of sandpaper for that one.

        LOL Steve Jobs.

  17. Gerard
    July 11, 2012 at 1:45 am

    I'm a big Apple fan (Or as I usually put it since I switched, a fan of quality and useability), but I do agree I'd still prefer if there was some good competition out there.

    I look forward to seeing how this new tablet does, and wish it well, but so far all they've ever been were a pause before going to finally get an iPad.

  18. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    July 11, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Apple sounds cool with their Retina Display but why should we need that? Nexus 7 looks more than ok for $199 why we pay for something that we don't need?

    • Sam
      August 6, 2012 at 3:19 am

      Agreed. Why does a device you can hold in your hand need twice the resolution of the optimal 42" HDTV display? Conisdering the high resolution of the other devices on the market, it would be hard to tell a difference between them and the iPad, even under a microscope. If you cant see it, why pay for it?

  19. RichieB07
    July 11, 2012 at 1:40 am

    I have an iPad now, but 4.1 definitely looks like Google really tried to iron out the bugs and make the OS smoother. If I didn't have so much invested in the Apple ecosystem, I'm definitely get a Nexus 7. It looks great, doesn't have the bloat, and has good hardware. I just don't like how it doesn't have a MicroSD slot.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

      It's definitely not perfect, but then neither is the iPad :)

    • Sam
      August 6, 2012 at 3:15 am

      And that is how Apple maniupulates their consumers. "Invested into the Apple ecosystem". Smart? Sure, but good business practice, I'm not so sure. See, their need for propriety and control is the one quality that would keep me from ever buying anything from them. And I am sure that I am not alone in that. I realize that if I bought an Apple product, I would be making a long term commitment to purchase their products.

      Where their competitors have the edge is giving the consumer a choice. Rather than trying to force us into their preferred buying habits, they persuade us by use of improvments, new features, innovations, etc. Google doesn't force me to use only Google products, and because if that, I actually want to use Google products.

      It is a reflection of Jobs' notoriously controlling and manipulative personailty. They do make high quality and easy to use products, but I think they could be even more successful if they allowed their users the freedom to make choices.

      • Richard Borkovec
        August 7, 2012 at 5:46 am

        Exactly. I have an iPhone 4 and iPad 3, and until recently thought I was going to be making that long term investment. Apple's recent business practices (suing the living hell out of everyone) has really turned me off of them as a company. I'm currently selling my iPhone and already have a Galaxy Exhibit 4G The way Apple is going, I'll be selling the iPad and getting a Nexus 7, or a Nexus 7 2 when it's available haha.

        • Sam
          August 7, 2012 at 5:52 am

          Glad to hear it! Excellent choice, by the way. One of my close friends just switched to a Galaxy S II from an iPhone 4S and she loves it! I joke with her, saying hey, I still have your iPhone in a drawer in my desk if you want it back. She just glares at me and says "I don't think so buddy".

          I now have the Galaxy S III, and having used all of the recent versions of the iPhone, I can honestly say the S III is the best phone I have ever used. Period. Enjoy the new phone, and let me know how the tablet thing turns out.

        • Richard Borkovec
          August 7, 2012 at 5:59 am

          I've played around with the S3, and I have to agree, it was easily the best phone I've ever used. I went to prepaid and didn't want to pay the $700 for an unlocked one, so I got the Galaxy Exhibit, which is as fast if not faster than the 4, and cheaper! I don't think I'd want to go back to the iPhone after using it, either.

      • William Brown
        August 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm

        The Galaxy Tab works fine and is not a piece of over-priced junk made in China!

        Your comment about controlling is right on!! By the way their products are not the ultimate and could be improved and Galaxy is doing that for me!!!

  20. michel
    July 11, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Just yesterday I stopped in a Staples outlet and browsed the tablets available. Ipad, Samsung, Acer, etc. As usual, they were all incredibly unresponsive and slow, except the Ipad. Including the brand-new Samsung Galaxy whatever. I'm anything but an apple fan, but I've never had any android device provide a decent experience. And I've tried a lot, because I want to avoid apple. But I'm reluctantly concluding that they're simply the only option.

    I expect a lot of android fanboy rage to follow, but this is simply my experience. I'm waiting to try the new MS tablet.

    • Truefire_
      July 11, 2012 at 1:43 am

      Slow how, exactly? I'm genuinely curious. I mean, specs-wise, things like the Asus Transformer Prime blow the iPad out of the water. Can they be a little laggy? Yeah, but they can actually multitask, so it may be some dumb app running in the background, which the iPad wouldn't allow in the first place.

      • michel
        July 11, 2012 at 2:01 am

        slow to respond. Press app, nothing happens. Press a little longer, its icon expands and then shrinks and nothing happens. Swipe the screen, nothing happens. Try again. Scroll up, nothing. Try again, stuff flies by uncontrollably.

        By contrast, the Ipad responds as expected.

      • Claire Curtis
        August 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm

        I think your info on iPads is a little out of date. They do multitask, and run apps in the background. In fact, my iPad was getting slow, and I was cursing at the iOs 5 upgrade, until a friend showed me how to see the running apps, and I found I was running 20 or so apps in the background. I quit them, and my performance was back. Now I only app I leave running is the one that allows me to receive phone calls on my wifi-only tablet.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 11, 2012 at 10:28 am

      If that is your personal experience then no one can dispute that. However, it's not my experience. The Android tablets I have used with capacitative touchscreens and Android 2.3 onwards have been fine. The Transformer Prime and the Galaxy Tab are more than fine, in fact. Even my generic Android tablet doesn't have the problems you have encountered. The iPad really isn't the only option.

      • William Brown
        August 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm

        The Galaxy Tab works fine and is not a piece of over-priced junk made in China!

    • Yamada
      October 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      If you are a troll or fanboy. I kindly ask you to GTFO.