Will the Google Nexus 7 Tablet Be a Hit in Italy?

The Google Nexus 7 tablet will apparently hit shops in Italy this coming weeked at the start of September, according to reports on Italian technology websites.

Sales of the 16 gigabyte version of the Asus built Google Android powered tablet have been going well in the USA and the UK, but will this budget but good value tablet do as well in Italy?

Some Italians, or so I have gathered from reading comments on Italian websites, don’t think they will buy one because it does not sport 3g connectivity.  This is perceived as being a problem in Italy where wifi availability is patchy to say the least.

UPDATE: 5th September 2012

I found a 16gb Google Nexus 7 in a large electronics shop, Saturn in Viale Certosa, in Milan today.  The price was €249 and I have to say the Nexus did not feel at all cheap for the price.

Did I buy one?  No, I did not!  I’m still not totally convinced I really need one.

UPDATE: 4th September 2012

There are rumors floating around the web that a 3g enabled version of the Nexus 7 is to be launched very shortly.   This may well boost the popularity of the Nexus 7 in Italy, although there are some indications that the lack of 3g is not putting off Italians anyway.  See the comments on this article.

End of update

Seeing as the Google tablet only has wifi connectivity, some Italians may not rush out and buy one. It is, however, possible to use smart phones such as the Apple iPhone to connect the Nexus 7 to the internet, although I’ve read that Blackberries are not necessarily Nexus 7 friendly. Whether Italians are aware of this, I do not really know.  From the comments on Italian blogs and websites, it seems many, though not all, are not.

The new Google Nexus 7 Tablet
The new Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Certainly, compared to the iPad, possibly the Google Nexus 7’s main rival – even if iPads cost considerably more – does come with 3g connectivity for those who can afford one.

Apple is working on a smaller screened version of its iPad which may arrive in Italy around Christmas time. Perhaps some Italians will delay purchasing a Nexus 7 until the new iPad appears. That remains to be seen, although when Italians cotton on to the fact that the Nexus 7 can be connected to the web via an iPhone, they might opt for the Nexus 7 over the new 7 inch iPad. Time will tell. Alternatively, the Kindle Fire is about to be upgraded by Amazon, though the new version may not land in Italy before Christmas. If it does, Italians will be in a Christmas quandary: Nexus 7, iPad mini or the latest and greatest Amazon Kindle fire?

Apple iPads are popular devices in Italy, as are iPhones and, for that matter, Apple Macs. It is conceivable that the connectivity which Apple’s devices share via Apple’s iCloud may persuade Apple owning Italians to go for the 7 inch iPad over the Nexus 7. Then again, Italians are watching their bank accounts more carefully in these crisis hit times, so the low cost of the Nexus 7 may be a deciding factor.

The price of the Nexus 7 in Italy is to be €200 for the 8gb version and €250 for the 16gb version, or so claim a number of Italian websites, even if one Google Nexus 7 distributor was showing a pre-order price of €299.

Nexus 7 Availability Notes

Out of curiosity, I visited my local Marco Polo Export electronics store (Via Canonica) on Saturday September 1st.  There were no Nexus 7s on display.  A shop assistant told me that Google’s new tablet may turn up some time next week.

On the FNAC electronics chain website it is possible to pre-order a 16gb Nexus 7 which should then turn up around September 14th.  Interestingly, the FNAC website is only showing the 16gb version of the Nexus 7.  In the UK and USA, buyers tended to prefer the 16gb model to the 8gb version.  Maybe the 8gb version won’t be available in Italy.

Gripes About Pricing

Some Italians have noticed that the proposed price is a simple Dollar to Euro conversion, which means the Nexus 7 will be more expensive for Italians than it is for those on the other side of the Atlantic.

The wifi connectivity situation in Italy is slowing improving, so a few Italians may go for the Nexus 7 in the hope it can be used to connect to the web wirelessly near them in the near future. In addition, plenty of Italian internet users, even if web connection quality is not high, especially in rural areas, do use wifi systems in their homes and at their work places. The wifi-only aspect of the Nexus 7, combined with its low price may convince Italians to obtain Google’s new tablet baby.

Personally, I believe the Nexus 7 will make a very good ebook reader, better, probably than my iPhone 4, which despite its smallish display does not do badly as an ebook reader. The gps function is interesting too.

Will I get a Nexus 7? A good question. Tablet computers still don’t 100% convince me, mainly because I prefer ‘real’ keyboards. But I’m not everyone.

Maybe I’ll pop along to my local electronics shop and see if they have any Nexus 7s this weekend and have a think. Hmm.

What about you? If you live in Italy like me, does the fact that the Nexus 7 is a wifi-only device put you off?

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