Why no pricing love for the Nexus 7 in Japan?

by Rufus Sufur

As someone who is living and working in Japan, I can’t get my hands on all the new tech released in the US as it comes out. Additionally, prices are often higher for the same product over here. You sometimes get a rare case, like the Kindle Paperwhite (no ads) which at 8,000 yen ($100 USD) is actually less here in Japan than the US. But since I already have a 4G e-ink Kindle for reading, I won’t be upgrading my e-reader for a while.

Anyway, now that all the requisite 7-inch tablets are out in Japan (iPad mini, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD) I thought it would be a good time to grab one.

The iPad mini has been discussed to death already, so I won’t go into it here; I’ll be getting one for myself once it gets a retina display. Instead, I’m thinking of getting either a Nexus or a Fire HD as a gift for my wife’s father. Since he’s not tied into the Apple ecosystem, I figured either of these would be an OK entry point to the 7-inch tablet space.

I’m not going to review these devices and go into their merits and demerits (there are plenty of sites that already have), but instead I want to know about the pricing. The base Kindle Fire HD is priced at 15,800 yen ($200 USD) whereas the Nexus 7 is 19,800 yen ($250 USD). I’m wondering why the Nexus is 4,000 yen higher.

Could it be because of positioning the Fire HD pricing against the original Fire and Paperwhite. If Amazon bumped up the Fire HD to 20,000 yen, its going to look expensive against the Fire and Paperwhite. They could raise the Fire’s price or they could raise the pricing of all three. But if Amazon did the latter, the Paperwhite would look overpriced compared to the Rakuten Kobo e-reader, so they don’t want to do that.

Or, maybe the decision has nothing to do about positioning. In any case, I’m not sure if my father-in-law would notice the differences between the tablets, so I’m thinking a Kindle Fire HD would be good enough.

If you have any opinions or thoughts about this, please let me know! Always interested…