Nexus 7 now on sale in India, is it worth INR 20K, alternatives, who is to blame for the pricing? (Update)

Update 2: Google today started selling the Nexus 7 tablet in India via Google Play for INR 15,999.

Update: Asus has announced that it has not launched the Nexus s7 in the country and it will go on sale in the coming months.


After a very long wait (almost four months) Nexus 7 was finally launched in India yesterday and is available starting today at Croma and other major retail stores across India.

But there is hardly anyone cheering about it. After all, most of us were looking forward to Nexus 7 India launch and some had even postponed their tablet purchases because of it.

The reason for this gloomy reaction – the pricing, unlike countries like US, UK, Australia, and Canada, Google is not marketing or distributing the Nexus 7 in India (and several other countries). So, pricing and distribution is left to Asus, which is the manufacturer for this very popular tablet. Keeping up with its previous pricing track record in India, Asus priced it pretty high compared to the Google Play pricing of the same product and even outside Google Play pricing in other countries.

So, we can’t really blame Google for subsidising the tablet in some countries and not others, because it is hardly subsidised, and even in countries where Asus is selling the tablet, the pricing is decent (obviously not comparable to US). So, who is the blame here – Asus India. Yes, they really are to blame and look at the pricing of Padfone, original Transformer or Transformer Prime – either they don’t really want to sell their products ‘:P” or they keep forgetting that India is one of the most price sensitive markets.

Sorry Asus, to burst your bubble you are no Apple, and no fan-boys are going to line-up to buy your high-priced tablets.

Here is the pricing of Nexus 7 in some Asian countries, where Asus is selling the Nexus 7 not Google and the tablet was launched when 16GB version price was still $249 in US not the current $199:

  • Singapore: S$399 (INR 17,699) (INR 4,000 more than US price at launch)
  • Hong Kong: HK$ 2,398 (INR 16,741) (INR 3,000 more than US price at launch)
  • Malaysia: 999 Malaysian ringgits (INR 17,676) (INR 4,000 more than US price at launch)

As you can see, despite being higher than Google Play, the pricing is still decent in other Asian countries. This is expected because Google wants no profit from Google Play Nexus 7 sales, but when Asus is selling it, it surely wants profit, thus the added INR 3-4,000 in the pricing of Nexus 7 in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

But in India, where Asus has launched the tablet at a time, when Google Play price of 16GB version has already come down to $199 (because of cut in component prices and the launch of 32GB version), the pricing of INR 20K is almost double the Google Play pricing, which does not make sense at all.

Is Nexus 7 worth 20K and what is/are the alternatives?

Let’s keep the pricing aside for a moment and look at Nexus 7; it is no doubt a great tablet. But as soon as the Indian pricing comes into play whole equation changes.

At this pricing too, there are several positives, which you won’t find in the alternatives (there is only one real alternative – Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 310). Quad-core processor, HD display, Jelly Bean, faster software updates, all these make Nexus 7 a great tablet, but Galaxy Tab 2 310 will only give you a dual-core processor, a 1024x600p resolution display, Ice Cream Sandwich and no schedule for Jelly Bean update .

There are some negatives also to Nexus 7 – you won’t get 3G or no micro-SD slot and even there is no rear camera (not that you will need it), which are present in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 310. But, the main issue is the lack of 3G here, rest of them can be managed and even the build quality of Nexus 7 is better than Galaxy Tab.

So in the end, it comes down to you. If you really want 3G, then you should opt for Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 310, else Nexus 7 is still a decent deal.

PS: These are my personal views.


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