While Google’s second-generation Nexus 7 sports an impressive set of features, not everyone is convinced it will be a huge hit. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimates shipments for the device will be markedly below market predictions. He does, however, see the company’s forthcoming “Moto X” handset as having real potential.
In a pair of research notes obtained by AppleInsider, Kuo says a survey of the tablet industry suggests shipments of the new Nexus 7 will be between 3.5 and 4 million units in 2013. Market watchers, on the other hand, forecast shipments some 30 to 40 percent higher at 5 to 7 million units over the same period.
Kuo cites a lack of innovation by Google and its manufacturing partner Asus.
“While the second-generation Nexus 7 showcases Retina display and wireless charging, among other features, the user experience is little changed as compared to other Android tablets,” Kuo writes. “It is also more expensive due to higher component costs. These factors are leading to below-consensus shipments.”
Asus itself could also be a negative factor, as the Taiwanese tablet maker’s already low-cost tablets will see further markdowns to clear inventory during the third-quarter. Kuo sees Asus price cuts averaging 20 to 40%.
Kuo is much more optimistic when it comes to Motorola’s upcoming Moto X flagship device. The analyst adjusted his previous shipment forecast for the new handset, bumping it up to 5.5 million units in fiscal 2013, up from the 3.5 million units he previously forecast.
Google’s Motorola subsidiary is expected to announce the Moto X at a special media event on August 1st. The new handset is said to sport a 4.5-inch 326PPI screen, 5-megapixel camera, and an “always-listening” voice recognition mode.
The phone will launch on all carriers, and will reportedly be backed by a $500 million ad campaign. Kuo believes the Moto X will be the “single most important” product for Motorola in 2013.
The analyst also sees the Moto X as a chance for Google to set an example for the rest of the Android handset producers, possibly usurping Samsung as the dominant player by producing handsets such as the Moto X.
“With hardware, software, and services converging as a trend, Google is expected to shift more resources into hardware,” Kuo says. “By integrating hardware and software to speed up innovation and by launching new flagship models, Google could come to be regarded as a beacon of superior product design in the chaotic Android camp.”