Sales figures and information provide clues as to what features and benefits offered by a tablet are currently most appealing to consumers.
Nexus 7 Tablet One analyst estimates that Google has sold 4.5 to 4.6 million Nexus 7 tablets so far.
It's difficult to know exactly how successful Google's first tablet, the Nexus 7, has been since its launch in June 2012. Like Amazon, the search company makes it a policy not to reveal sales numbers, simply revenues when it issues its quarterly earnings reports.
However, that hasn't stopped mobile industry analyst Benedict Evans crunching data from Asus (the tablet's manufacturer) and arriving at a figure of 4.5 to 4.6 million. Which, although impressive, is nothing compared with the iPad and iPad Mini, the latter of which was only released in November yet combined sales for the quarter currently stand at 22.9 million. Amazon is estimated to have sold 7 million Kindle Fire tablets over the past 12 months.
The figures are important in shedding light on tablet use as much as popularity. Google and Amazon tablets are sold at cost or even a small loss as content delivery systems. Google wants consumers to use Google services and buy apps from the Google Play store on their devices. Amazon wants consumers to buy or rent its movies, eBooks and play its games. Tablets are simply a means of increasing the customer base for these services.
At $329, Apple's cheapest iPad Mini is still over $100 more expensive than a Nexus 7 and doesn't feature an SD memory expansion port. However, what it does offer is a premium product, one that has no conflicting issues between software and hardware and a smooth and unified user experience when downloading and launching apps or consuming multimedia content.
It's also interesting to note that Samsung, which is rapidly expanding its own bespoke content offerings in terms of music and other media services has hinted that its Galaxy Note 8 tablet, scheduled for launch at next week's Mobile World Congress, will be the first device it manufactures that will be more expensive than its Apple equivalent. It is expected to feature S-Pen stylus capability, come with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage and be powered by a quad-core processor.