Last week during Google’s press conference, before the new Nexus 7, Android 4.3 and the Chromecast were unveiled, Android and Chrome head Sundar Pichai ran the audience through some figures, including the claim that the Nexus 7 was the most popular tablet in Japan. As it turns out, he was quoting a misleading report from Tokyo-based research firm BCN, which looked at sales from 2,400 stores in the country but left out several key retailers including the Apple Store.
BCN’s report concluded that in December 2012, 44.4 percent of all tablets sold were Google’s Nexus 7, while the iPad made up just 40.1 percent of sales. However, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the study left out not just the Apple Store, but also Japanese telecom giants SoftBank and KDDI. In fact, BCN’s report only covered 16 percent of tablet sales channels in Japan, leaving some gaping wholes in its findings.
The study also conflicted with IDC’s own findings, and research director for tablets, Tom Mainelli even told SlashGear that he was “a bit puzzled by Google’s claims.” The firm’s own report on ASUS shipments found that only 350,000 Nexus 7 units were shipped to Japan in Q4 2012, while Apple shipped 773,000 iPads during the same period.
BCN’s own report was officially designated as a survey, meaning the company isn’t at fault for leaving out certain key retailers. However, Google’s claim that the survey’s results represent the entire Japanese market are clearly more than a bit off. Leaving out the Apple Store, where the Cupertino-based company pushes its products the most aggressively, could be enough to heavily skew the results, while ignoring SoftBank and KDDI would be like omitting AT&T and Verizon out of a similar U.S. survey.