IDC Refutes Google Claim that Nexus 7 Beat iPad in Japan

| Analysis

OopsGoogle recently claimed that its Nexus 7 tablet was the most popular tablet in Japan, beating even the iPad. It turns out the claim was based on study that ignored sales from Apple's seven Apple Store locations, as well as sales from two large Japanese wireless carriers. On a more definitive note, International Data Corporation (IDC) specifically refuted Google's claim, saying that iPad outsold Nexus 7 by more than two to one.

The story comes to us thanks to SlashGear looking into Google's claim during the Nexus 7 Reboot event that the Nexus 7 was the most popular tablet in Japan. That would be quite the accomplishment, if it were true, but it isn't.

The claim was based on a survey by BCN that said Google's Nexus 7 had 44.4 percent of the tablet market in Japan, while the iPad was in second place with 40.1 percent. The problem is that BCN's numbers exclude sales from Apple's retail stores—a source of considerable sales for Apple—and carriers KDDI and Softbank.

SlashGear then talked to Tom Mainelli, IDC Research Director, Tablets, who said point blank, "Yes, I was a bit puzzled by Google’s claims. We count the Nexus 7 as part of ASUS’s shipments, and looking at our Japan numbers for 4Q12–which represent shipments into the channel–Apple shipped about 773K iPad units versus about 350K Nexus 7 units for ASUS."

On the one hand, companies use numbers that are favorable to them all the time. Apple has done it, usually by cherry picking stats that paint the company's products or services in a favorable light. It's one thing to cherry pick, it's another to rely on a sketchy survey with obvious flaws to claim something that not only isn't true, but runs contrary to history to date.

The reality is that Google has a lot to be proud of in the success of its Nexus 7 for what it really has done. Selling 45 percent as many Nexus 7s as Apple sells of both the iPad and the iPad mini is amazing, and it shows that Android is making significant gains on iPad in the tablet market, at least in terms of sales.

There seems to be little point in making a claim that can be disproved so easily, except of course for the fact the false claim has already been repeated by news outlets and it will continue to be repeated.

It's the same as with the story generated by Strategy Analytic's false claim that Samsung had dethroned Apple as the most profitable smartphone market. That story is still being repeated even after an excellent debunking from AppleInsider's Daniel Eran Dilger.

We doubt Google is cynical enough to have used it knowing it was bogus, but the company should at least have looked into the study before citing it.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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“We doubt Google is cynical enough to have used it knowing it was bogus . .  . ”  Good for you, because I don’t.


Mr Chaffin is being diplomatic and he certainly wouldn’t want to offend the boys at google.
Imagine the kind of hell he will face when he called a spade a spade.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

What an interesting iPad marketshare story to pick out today!


Sh!t (made up) by Gooooooooooogle.


There are seven Apple stores in Japan:

Apple doesn’t break out iPad sales by country, or store. Actually, they really don’t break out iPad sales at all, just announce milestones…

What it comes down to is that all these sales figures of Apple’s iPad are made up. Tom Mainelli, IDC Research Director, is being straight up disingenuous.


There’s a WEALTH of information to wade through in this world of Mac, and one can’t know it all, even those like me who have been on one since the earliest days and attempts to keep up. “IDC” may not mean a thing to even the most studious. It should be written out for the first use in an article. I Googled for it but don’t think I should have to do that. Now I know.

International Data Corporation. Or so I must assume.

Bryan Chaffin

Hi maxglitz. Thanks for catching that. I corrected the article and added the link to IDC I meant to add in the first place.

Thanks for the note!


Even if it were true, and who honestly cares, why would Google brag about it?  They didn’t make the Nexus 7 after all.  It’s just one of thousands of devices running the Android kernel.


“Even if it were true, and who honestly cares, why would Google brag about it?  They didn’t make the Nexus 7 after all.  It’s just one of thousands of devices running the Android kernel.”

Google didn’t didn’t make the Nexus 7 the same way Apple didn’t make the iPad, or iPhone, or iMac, or pretty much anything else they sell.


No [expletives deleted], sherlock.  But I have yet to see an article where it says Asus has released the new Nexus 7.  Every tech blog refers to it as Google’s Nexus 7.

Bryan Chaffin

Nexus products are hybrid devices in terms of manufacturing. Google dictates specs, but once those are decided, leaves the actual manufacturing to the OEM partner chosen for any particular Nexus product. Google then goes on to market and sell the device under its own branding.

So the Nexus 7 is very much a Google product compared to all other Android devices, but it’s not comparable to the way Apple is responsible for the production of its products. Apple dictates components, manufacturing processes, and coordinates every last facet of its supply chain.

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