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Google may sell tablets direct to customers this summer

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Google may sell tablets direct to customers this summer
This isn't exactly new as Google did try once before to sell hardware directly to consumers, in the form of the Nexus One, but if the rumor is true, this is a very different approach to selling to consumers for Google. The new word is that Google will be opening an online store to sell Android tablets directly to consumers this summer. There are two major differences here compared to the Nexus One sale: 

1) Tablets don't necessarily need a carrier contract. One of the biggest problems with the Nexus One sale was that other than almost no marketing, the only option for sale was an unlocked device for T-Mobile. Unfortunately, Americans still can't wrap their heads around the benefits of an unlocked device, so the higher initial price makes people shy away. Tablets don't need carrier contracts, and people are already primed to pay upwards of $500-600 for a tablet, so right away this idea has a better chance of success. 

2) This may not be just a Nexus store. The Nexus One sale was just that, the Nexus One and nothing else. If we are to believe the report from The Wall Street Journal, this new store will market and sell Android tablets from all vendors. Both Samsung and Asus are mentioned as hardware partners, and the report specifically says that tablets may be "co-branded with Google's name", which would make sense, but doesn't rule out the possibility that Google may sell the Samsung Galaxy Tab right along side of the Asus Nexus tablet. 

The idea certainly makes sense, even if people are just starting to warm up to the idea of Google selling products. If nothing else, a Google Android Tablet Store could be a good way to showcase the hardware available in the ecosystem. And, it could be a good way to bring the prices down as the rumor also says that Google might subsidize tablets to bring down costs.

source: WSJ

13 Comments
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posted on 29 Mar 2012, 18:27 5

1. bruindog (Posts: 31; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


I hope that the nexus tablet doesn't stray away from superior specs all for the sake of a price cut. I think a lot of consumers would pay a little extra to receive higher screen resolutions and faster processors. Heck maybe even expandable memory if google feels like being nice LOL. But i believe ASUS and Samsung will continue to bring quality tablets to the table.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 18:28 6

2. beatsandmelody (Posts: 109; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)


I'm ready to buy the Nexus tablet.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 18:29 6

3. bruindog (Posts: 31; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


I think everyone is. I don't like settling for ebook readers with android installed on them.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 18:45 2

4. itiswhatitis (Posts: 423; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


Good then cuz m really frustrated with my first idevice I can't even delete my photo I knew its limited but c'mon can't even delete photos u gotta be kidding me!!!!!

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 18:46 1

5. TROLL.ISAHA (banned) (Posts: 535; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


Wondering what so special? Could it excel the asus prime?!

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 19:21 4

6. rallyguy (Posts: 572; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


Who the f*$^ wrote this article? Americans can't wrap their heads around an unlocked phone? How about Americans don't want to pay $450 for a phone that can only be used on a s**tty carrier?

People are primed to upwards of $500 to $600 for a tablet? Are you kidding me? Go ahead and list those things at $600 and see how many you don't sell. Gees!

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 19:52 3

8. denney (Posts: 98; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


I'm currently under a service contract with t-mobile on a "value plan" which provides me the same service as their normal plan, but I do not qualify for any upgrades. When my contract expires (may 2013) I will have paid ~$900+ less in service fees (over 2 years) and be locked in at my price of ~$85 per month for 2 lines. the additional ~$900+ I will have saved over 2 years, every 2 years, will more than merit the purchase of 2 off-contract phones when I need them. That is how I can justify the purchase of an off contract phone on a great network. That is how I wrap my head around an unlocked phone.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 20:12 3

9. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2686; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Denny hit the first point.

2) If customers demanded unlocked devices without contracts by supporting those carriers, even for a short time (because you won't have a contract, of course), Verizon and AT&T would add better options for non-subsidy plans.

3) The LTE version of the iPad starts at $629, and the Asus Transformer Prime was $500, or $650 with the keyboard, so yes, people are primed to spend $500-600 on a tablet purchase.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 20:37 2

11. remixfa (Posts: 14060; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


smack down!

So far T-Mobile is the only one that gives a cheaper plan for a full retail phone. If people were smart and in a good coverage area, they would jump on that plan as its better than everything from the other big 3 carriers. That would also make the others take a hard look at the practice and hopefully start some pilot programs.

My hope for this would be that they showcase every tablet.. and phone, carrier unlocked that has the stock "with google" logo on it. The way that google is integrating Play into its PC suite as well as its near monopoly like status as "google search" could really push a lot of hits to the site, which hopefully means more stock - unlocked phone sales. My hope for that is the unrealistic hope that the manufacturers/carriers get the hint and start making more "with google" devices that have direct update capabilities.

Why have just 1 "nexus" when they could change the "nexus" from a brand to a fleet. Instead of saying "with google" on the back of the device, it could say "with nexus", meaning it gets all its updates direct from the big G like iphones do from apple... bypassing the carrier completely. Granted, thats what they do now, but instead of it being a single showcase phone, it could be done by all manufacturers at any time. Choice rules.

Ok, im done rambling. lol

posted on 30 Mar 2012, 08:32 1

12. atheisticemetic (Posts: 377; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)


or if someone wants to use international service? that might be an american who wants an unlocked tablet

food for thought

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 19:27

7. networkdood (Posts: 6310; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Sell them from Google Play.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 20:20 2

10. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6678; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


I'm READY to buy a NEXUS TABLET if the hardware is good enough

posted on 30 Mar 2012, 11:45

13. roscuthiii (Posts: 1863; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


Always seemed to pass up Nexus phones for some kind of personal deal breaker and only ever had passing interest in tablets, but a Nexus Tablet... that has certainly gotten my attention.
Perhaps they'll integrate this version as a hybrid with a dock/keyboard attachment that turns the tablet into a Chromebook when combined.
I think they're heading down the road of combining Android and Chrome into a unified OS at some point anyway.

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