After its first attempt to sell devices directly with the Nexus One ended without doing much to change the way phones are sold and activated in the US, Google has apparently decided to try to sell devices directly once again, as it has taken to using its
Android Market Google Play storefront to sell the Galaxy Nexus directly in the US for $399.99, after months of resellers selling the same device for $600-700.
The GSM version being priced at $399.99 also reflects Google’s willingness to sell its flagship Ice Cream Sandwich device at a loss, as the unlocked GSM version launched in Europe for nearly $700 and many online dealers still sell the international version of the phone for that price.
For Google to restart direct device sales now means that the search and ad conglomerate may be ramping up to offer more than just the Galaxy Nexus, as rumors swirl around the company also developing a Nexus branded tablet to be manufactured by a new partner outside of its previous Nexus device partners in HTC and Samsung, with Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS being tipped to be the next Nexus development partner. Google continually struggles with Android on tablets in terms of marketshare and awareness among consumers compared to the juggernaut that is Apple and the iPad line, with Samsung being the most successful in context, but only commanding a marketshare of less than 5% in comparison.
Only time will tell whether this next attempt in direct device sales will prove a success for Google, as its last attempt was fraught with customer service issues that it failed to take into account, though the fact that customer support now includes an 800 number instead of the previous reliance on email means that Google may have taken the hard lessons learned from the Nexus One days into account.