Besides launching yesterday its cloud-based storage service Google Drive, Google has reentered into retail domain by reactivating its online store for selling the Galaxy Nexus directly to consumers through its Google Play marketplace. The unlocked and unbranded phone will cost $399.
The Nexus runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The device supports NFC (near field communication) technology and is pre-installed with Google Wallet, which let users to make purchases and redeem offers with a simple tap of their phone. So far, this is the only offering under the “Shop Devices” tab of Google Play, the media hub where consumers can get music, apps, movies and books.
Those buying online from Google, cannot resell the device as its terms of service mentioned on the site states clearly that “you will not engage in any commercial resale of Devices ordered from this site.” Further, Google states that you can buy a maximum of five Galaxy Nexus phones on Google Play. “Users attempting to purchase more than five phones using multiple Google Accounts will be in violation of our policy and their orders will be cancelled.”
It’s not Google’s first time to get in the phone sale business. In 2010, the company failed to sell Nexus One, a specially-designed Android smartphone, directly to consumers. The store was closed only four months later.
Some industry watchers are of the opinion that Google is testing the waters for online sale and may use the store to boost the introduction of its much-anticipated Nexus tablet, a 7″ inch device priced at $199. If Google brings out this tablet in the coming weeks and start selling the same online especially in India in local currency then it will be a smash hit.