Google Returns To Selling Android Devices Direct On Google Play
After an unsuccessful attempt at selling Android devices directly back in 2010, Google is back with a second attempt at shifting more units in the U.S. On the U.S. Google Play site, a new section called ‘Devices‘ can be found on the site alongside the usual apps, books, movies and music.
The first device to be sold is an unlocked Galaxy Nexus (HSPA+) at $399, which comes equipped with a 4.65″ HD screen, 16GB of storage and Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).
The device comes preinstalled with Google Wallet and $10 free credit to encourage more people to try out and use their digital wallet service. As part of this, the company has made Google Wallet available on three new devices: the Galaxy Nexus, LG Viper 4G LTE and LG Optimus Elite.
While the phones are unlocked (not tied down to a particular network), you can still use it on the GSM network that you’re with and connect with your operator of choice. Also, Google Play will now have customer support to help improve the experience on the site, something that it was criticised for when it originally sold Android devices directly.
The senior vice president of Mobile and Digital Content for Google Andy Rubin wrote on a blog post that the company has taken the developments of the past three years into consideration when relaunching the service, citing the 500,000 apps available and the inclusion of a customer support service as factors. He also said that the new option will be made available to more countries sometime in the near future.
While it’s only selling Galaxy Nexus phones for now, it’s possible that Google will extend this feature to include other Google products such as Nexus tablets and Chromebooks.