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"The Nexus 7 certainly looks like a nice piece of hardware, and the reviews have all been positive," Mainelli said. "The biggest question there is whether or not Google can get it into enough channels -- beyond the Google Play online store -- to make it a hit."
The Untouchable Factor
Mainelli noted that first-time buyers will really want to touch the device. "If they can't drive to a local retailer to test it out then I think they'll have a tough time gaining traction," he said.
Mainelli believes the Nexus 7's other weakness stems from the simple fact that the new machine's content ecosystem isn't as robust as that of Apple. "There aren't enough tablet-specific apps for Android, and Google's content collection isn't as deep," Mainelli said.
Furthermore, industry observers expect Apple to counter Google's latest move by launching a less expensive iPad in a smaller 7-inch or 8-inch form factor this autumn.
"I think there is plenty of demand for such a product both in the U.S. and in other countries," Mainelli said. "I also think that if Apple does a smaller, lower-priced tablet it would be to help bolster markets where they see big opportunities, such as education."