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Google's Nexus 7 outsells Apple's iPad in Japan over holidays

Google's Nexus 7 outsold all Apple iPad models in December. Source: Google

Sales of the ASUS-made Nexus 7 beat out Apple's entire tablet lineup in Japan in December, displacing the dominant iPad from the number one spot for the first time since its launch in 2010, says one market research firm.

According to data released on Thursday by BCN, Google's Nexus 7 outperformed Apple's iPad in Japan over the lucrative holiday season, with the firm citing price as a driving factor behind shift, reports the Nikkei (via CNET).

A survey of 2,400 electronic stores across the country showed the Nexus 7 captured 44.4 percent of the market in December, while Apple's share came in at 40.1 percent. The firm noted that the iPad has been the top-selling tablet in Japan since its launch in 2010. Devices made by domestic companies like Sony and Fujitsu accounted for only two to three percent of sales over the same period.

Apple started 2012 with a Japanese market share of just under 50 percent ,which rose to a peak of about 70 percent when the fourth-generation iPad was released in March. ASUS's share, meanwhile, remained at less than 10 percent until the Nexus 7 debuted in September, when the company's marketshare skyrocketed to almost 40 percent within one month. The November launch of the iPad mini tamped down Nexus 7 demand, but lack of inventory due to supply chain issues caused the Apple tablet to see a decline in sales during December.

Cost was also major player in the Nexus 7's market growth, the report said. In Japan, the tablet is priced at 19,800 yen (about $224) for a 16-gigabyte model, or $100 less than a comparable iPad mini which sells for 28,800 yen (about $326).

The publication cited an IDC Japan report that estimated some 3.6 million tablets were sold in December, nearly tripling sales during the same period in 2011. That number is expected to rise to 4.9 million units in 2013 as tablets are seen as being one of the few consumer electronics segments to grow this year.