re: Google Nexus 7 Tablet Aims For Amazon, Not Apple
Although Eric is nominally right, he is fundamentally wrong.
The Nexus 7 is a head-to-head competitor with the Kindle Fire. In that sense, he is right. However, Amazon isn't fundamentally in the tablet business. The Kindle Fire is simply a vehicle to increase purchases of Kindle books and AppStore apps. It is not fundamentally a profit center for Amazon -- in fact it is quite likely a loss leader.
Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire under the "Gillette Principle" -- that is give the "razor" away free (or at a substantial discount) and make money off the sale of the "razor blades".
The Nexus 7 is competition with the Kindle Fire -- the razor itself. While the Nexus 7 will increase the sale for Google's own razor blades, it is also 100% compatible with Amazon's razor blades.
In other words, consumers may freely buy apps and media from both the Google and Amazon. This will (in addition to the better specs of the Nexus 7) increase the number of tablets out there, and will, as a result, increase total sales. As a result, Amazon could easily find itself selling more media and apps as a result of Nexus 7; it could even get out of the tablet market itself, and move those resources to their real profit center.
So what does Google get out of this? Well, it will increase it's revenue from media and apps, but it will also create a much larger market for tablet-specific apps.
This is where Google is aiming at Apple from. In review after review, the one clear advantage reviewers point out Apple has over Android in tablets is the number of tablet-optimized apps. The Nexus 7 is the key to equalizing this advantage. It will also drive other Amazon and other "low end" tablet manufacturers to move quickly to Jelly Bean, or into other markets (which is simplified the by introduction of the new Accessory Development Kits), rather than continue to build tablets based on earlier Android versions. This leaves them with motivation to move tablet support forward while reducing the incentive to fragment Android going forward. New accessories and new apps -- both designed for Jelly Bean-based tablets, will in turn encourage other high end tablet manufacturers to minimize fragmentation so as to take advantage of the growing Jelly Bean/tablet ecosystem.
It is a bold and brilliant move by Google, and may solve fragmentation and "app gap" problems Google has in competing with Apple, and without resorting to heavy-handed limitations on the Android software, hardware, or consumer communities.