Google to launch Nexus 7 in Japan


Popularity of Android will help uptake of tablet in Japan, Eric Schmidt predicts.

Google Inc. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Tuesday that the Internet search engine giant plans to launch its Nexus 7 tablet computer in Japan.

The tablet’s 16 gigabyte model will cost 19,800 yen and will be available to order on line today.

Speaking at an event in the capital, Mr. Schmidt said the rapid-fire growth of the Android operating system will help Google’s 7-inch tablet catch on in Japan.

“Android has grown so fast it’s hard to keep up,” he said. “There are now more than 500 million Android users around the world.”

Mr. Schmidt said that a survey Google conducted showed 75% of Japanese smart phone owners use their devices for shopping.”That points us to the next enormous growth business in Japan…(There is) a new wealth that can be created around the Japanese shopping experience.”

“Japan is perpetually poised at the leading edge” of technology, he noted.

Google’s Android operating system is the mainstay for many of Apple Inc.’s rivals in the lucrative smartphone industry, growing rapidly around the globe.

In a bold, and expensive, move to tap into that growth, Google itself paid over $12 billion to buy the Motorola Mobility handset business. But that move raised questions over how Google would balance its own mobile device hardware with supplying the operating system for companies which are now rivals in the intensely competitive race to catch up with Apple’s hit iPhone.