Back in early 2010 Google changed the phone market forever. They announced the Nexus One, a phone branded under their name, to be sold unlocked. Being sold unlocked wasn’t its only retail trick, as Google also revealed they would be selling the handset on their own, online. By this they cut out retail, a new method that had been untested in the US phone market.
Ultimately the plan failed, with fewer sales than Google initially anticipated. To many, it was a huge disappointment that Google was closing up shop after only 5 months. The plan was to revolutionize the way phones are sold, but it didn’t catch on with enough people to prove successful. Fast forward to now, and we have news that Google may be attempting something like this again. But instead of phones, the market of choice will be tablets.
The strategy is said to be a little different this time around, with one main goal: take down the Kindle Fire. Android’s very existence is to get users to use Google’s services, in turn bringing Google more revenue. The Kindle Fire defied that, taking the Android operating system, stripping out everything Google, and replacing it all with Amazon’s services instead. As it turns out, the $200 price point of the tablet proved to be wildly successful, and was the first time an Android tablet became popular outside of the tech community.
Google has obviously taken notice, and we’ve been hearing various rumors about an upcoming Nexus tablet. This Nexus tablet is said to take the Kindle Fire head on, being a high-end tablet with a low price point.
Where would such a tablet be sold? Google’s online store, of course! On top of that, it sounds like Google will also be bringing other popular Android tablets from both Samsung and ASUS. Much like the Nexus tablet, it sounds like Google is trying to use the store as a front for selling other cheap Android tablets. As we all know, Android tablets (or tablets in general – remember the TouchPad?) sell best when they’re cheap.
In my mind, Google only needs a few tablets in their store. The rumored 7-inch tablet for $200, and a 10-inch tablet for $300 sounds like the perfect combo. Add in the upcoming Transformer Prime for $400, and you’ve got a store set up for success right there. Maybe throw in some accessories too, as retailers like Best Buy have proven that selling accessories is a whole business in itself.
The new Google store could prove to be the best way for Google to get tablets using its service into the hands of consumers. And it benefits everyone. The manufacturers sell more tablets, Google makes money off its services, and consumers get a cheap, usable tablet. Revolutionizing the tablet market, no?
Agree with me? Is this the best way for Google to get Android into the hands of consumers? Let us know in the comments below, or tell me personally @jlehto43 on Twitter.
image via PhoneDog