Nexus tablet sales: not many

Google doesn't say anything about Nexus sales. However, Asus, which makes the Nexus 7, has disclosed total tablet sales: 5.35m in the second half of 2012, when it sold the Nexus 7 as well as some other tablets. That gives us an upper bound for Nexus 7 sales, but what about the (Samsung-made) 10?

Well, both the 7 and 10 use relatively uncommon screen profiles, and these now show up in Google's development data for screen sizes:

  • Nexus 7 is 'large TVDPI' - at the beginning of April this was listed as 1% of devices hitting Play
  • Nexus 10 is 'xlarge XHDPI' - which was 0.1%

I've modeled active Android users (excluding China) based on interpolating between Google's announcements: my model says there were 680m Android users at the end of March. Assuming equal Play use across the base (a big assumption), that would imply:

  • 6.8m Nexus 7s in use (consistent with the Asus number)
  • 680k Nexus 10s in use

Rounding obviously applies to both of those numbers - '0.1%' could actually be '0.149%', which would be 1.01m. I don't believe there are any other devices on sale using either screen profile, but if there were that would obviously push the Nexus numbers down. 

That compares with probably 10m iPad Minis sold in the last 2 months of Q4, and 36.9m iPads sold in the second half of 2012. 

Given that both Nexi (?) are perfectly good devices on their own terms, this points to the continued importance of both distribution and ecosystem for Apple tablet sales versus the competition.

Incidentally, the rumour is that Microsoft's Surface tablets have only sold 1.5m units. On this basis, that would still be more than the Nexus 10.