Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2012 (Revised May 2013)

ASUSTeK and the Google Nexus 7 Tablet

by Willy C. Shih and Jyun-Cheng Wang

Abstract

Days after Jerry Shen introduced a new tablet computer at the Consumer Electronics Show, a Google meeting convinced him to go with a lower price point and co-branding as the Nexus 7. While his company would have a premier position at launch, companies like Samsung posed a large competitive threat. He also knew he would sell more of the Android-powered tablets at the lower price, but how would he make money? The case explores the challenges of innovating in the Android value network in which firms specialized in only one part of the value chain, yet collectively they had to compete with a more vertically integrated Apple and its iPad. The case is intended to be part of a discussion on modularity and industry structure.

Keywords: Nexus; google; ASUSTeK; Android; Tablet; Kindle; Kindle Fire; notebook computers; ODM; Apple; price point; App Store; ecosystem; Open Handset Alliance; reference design; iPad; EMS; electronic manufacturing services; smartphone; Innovation and Management; Innovation Strategy; Technological Innovation; Product Marketing; Product Launch; Product Positioning; Industry Structures; Product Design; Product Development; Business Strategy; Competitive Strategy; Mobile Technology; Technology Platform; Information Technology; Online Technology; Computer Industry; Information Technology Industry; Technology Industry; Taiwan; United States;

Citation:

Shih, Willy C., and Jyun-Cheng Wang. "ASUSTeK and the Google Nexus 7 Tablet." Harvard Business School Case 613-056, November 2012. (Revised May 2013.)