Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson had originally forecasted sales as high as 14.6 million in 2013. Wilson has reduced this figure because the Nexus 7 has not sold as quickly as he expected.
However, it is very difficult to gauge exactly how many tablets Google might sell in the coming year. The search engine giant did not even enter the tablet space until it released the first iteration of the Nexus 7 last summer. At that time, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) was the dominant player in the market. The Mac maker has retained that title, albeit with increased competition from Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and other tech giants.
During the summer Amazon announced that it had completely sold out of the first-generation Kindle Fire and commanded 22 percent of the domestic tablet market. The company set a new record for Kindle sales on November 26, AKA Cyber Monday.
Thus far, Wilson estimates that the Nexus 7 will have sold four million units by the end of 2012. This falls in line with the sales estimate provided by Asus, which manufactures the seven-inch tablet. David Chang, the company's Chief Financial Officer, said that while the device initially sold 500,000 units per month, the Nexus 7 has now approached one million in monthly sales.
Google, which is trading up roughly two percent this afternoon, has jumped 13 percent over the last six months. Year-to-date the company is up more than one percent.
Amazon is enjoying a similar gain of 14 percent over the last six months. Year-to-date, the online retailer is up more than 36 percent, adding to the company's five-year increase of 170 percent.
Apple is not performing nearly as well. While the company is still up more than 42 percent year-to-date, the iPhone maker has dropped more than 13 percent over the last three months. There have been a few signs of recovery, however. Over the last two weeks, Apple climbed more than 11 percent.
It is not yet clear why investors have started to return. They initially abandoned the stock after Apple announced that more than five million consumers purchased the iPhone 5 during its first weekend of availability. This set a new record for the company, but it was well below the expectations of several analysts, who had predicted that Apple would sell as many as 10 million units during the three-day period. Analysts were much more conservative about their predictions for the iPad Mini and the fourth-generation iPad, which went on to sell three million units (combined) during their first weekend on store shelves. Investors were not impressed.
Instead of raw sales data, investors seem to be more intrigued by rumors and speculation surrounding the company's future line of products. It is not yet known which devices Apple will produce in 2013, but many analysts expect a new television to be one of them. In doing so, Apple would compete head-to-head with Sony (NYSE: SNE), Panasonic (NYSE: PC), Sharp, Vizio and other TV manufacturers. Apple's television would also compete against products from its arch rival -- Samsung.
Despite the hoopla of hype surrounding Apple's first television, Google and Amazon are not believed to be developing their own TV sets.
However, Google already attempted to refine the living room entertainment experience by releasing numerous iterations of Google TV, a Smart TV platform co-developed by Sony, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and Logitech (NASDAQ: LOGI). This venture has not been successful for Google or its partners. In 2011, Logitech announced that it experienced more returns than sales for its Google TV-based set top box, the Logitech Revue.
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