Japan is home to Sony, Sushi and now Google’s Nexus 7. The search giant on Tuesday announced the 16GB version will go on sale Oct. 2 at major Japanese retailers — Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera and Joshin — for about $254, or 19,800 yen. In front of media, Google’s Eric Schmidt explained the potential in the Japanese market, and revealed that installs of Google Play is third highest in the region.
With Amazon ramping up competition here in the U.S. — and finally going overseas to Europe — Google’s expansion effort is aimed at out muscling the Fire lineup. Schmidt also said Google Play Books is now available in Japan, which The Verge said could potentially be a huge seller for the affluent population — though famous names like Haruki Murakami are absent from Play Books at the moment.
Google’s reputation isn’t quite the sure-thing it is elsewhere; it isn’t even the number one search engine, with Yahoo Japan edging out. The search giant previously failed to make any lasting impression with a robust marketing campaign behind the Galaxy Nexus, so there are certainly challenges on the horizon. But the company’s Nexus 7 is its own beast at an attractive price, which may be a catalyst to boost Google’s mind share over the holiday period. At least that’s the plan.