Hurricane Sandy drowns out Google’s vital Nexus 10 tablet launch

Oh dear, oh dear, “Frankenstorm” has rained on Google’s busy parade. Just as the internet services giant was preparing a slew of product launches – including, it was hoped, a game-changing 10in tablet, the Nexus 10, along comes the perfect storm to blow away all its dreams. Other casualties of Hurricane Sandy include the Nexus 4 smartphone and an upgraded version of the standard 7in Nexus 7 tablet.

The other two launches are so-so, but Google is putting big money on the Nexus 10 being an Apple iPad 4-slayer, with superior screen-resolution, new Android operating software and, at £200, a much more attractive price-tag. It also has to watch its back: just last Friday Microsoft launched its own much-touted competitor in the tablet field, the Surface, to mixed reviews. (Price attractive, but keyboard fiddly and cameras “junk”, we gather.)

The Nexus 10 – manufactured by Samsung – was to have been launched in New York today, on a waterfront pier within the evacuation zone, just as America’s biggest ever storm hoves into view along a 1,000 mile front. So the company had little option but to call it quits, for now.

However, observers are beginning to wonder whether Google is jinxed. Eleven days ago, it announced – or rather, pre-announced by accident, making the effect much worse – unexpectedly poor quarterly results (thank you, Motorola). NASDAQ was not impressed, and reacted accordingly – shaving $20bn off Google’s share price. The bungled Q3 announcement exacerbated some analysts’ fears that Google has lost its way and will struggle to retain leadership in search (or any other area for that matter) over the next few years.

UPDATE 17:53: It looks as if Google is going for a much less effective “soft launch” of its new products. The Nexus 10 will be out on November 13th. No time to waste in the run-up to Christmas, clearly.

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