Information regarding Google’s next generation Nexus smartphones continues to flow ahead of tomorrow’s expected unveiling. Sources familiar with the matter tell Android Police that Google isn’t planning to sell the handsets in carrier stores, making them an online exclusive. It’s a strategy the search giant has used before but that was back when the Nexus was a relative unknown. Latest rumors also point to an attractive unlocked pricing for the Nexus 5X at $379.99 for the base 16GB version, while the Nexus 6P will start at $499.99 for the 32GB version.
It may seem asinine to many of us, but there’s a large portion of the population that purchase smartphones in-store based largely on retail presentation (in other words, they don’t do any research before buying). By pulling out of carrier stores, these consumers would obviously miss out on the opportunity to own a new Nexus device.
So, why the change?
The publication surmises it’s all about promoting its new Google Store. The one-stop shop for all things Android currently sells items like Chromecast, Android Wear smartwatches, OnHub and more. Adding the new Nexus devices would no doubt drive a lot of traffic to the site and further develop brand awareness.
It’s worth pointing out that “online only” may not be limited to just the Google Store. It’s entirely possible, for example, that other e-commerce players like Amazon may carry the phone. Rumors suggest the devices will work across all major network carriers which would make adding service as simple as getting a SIM card from your carrier of choice.
Either way, we should find out more on the matter tomorrow.