Mar 29 AT 5:33 PM Taylor Wimberly 28 Comments

WSJ: Google to sell their own Android tablets this year


We already reported the “Nexus tablet” was a done deal and now Amir Efrati of The Wall St. Journal is reporting that Google will sell Android tablets directly to consumers, through their own online store.

Google attempted to sell the HTC Nexus One phone to consumers back in 2010 (I bought one), but that didn’t go so well as the top 3 carriers rejected it and Google was forced to shut the store down later that year.

When the store closed, Andy Rubin said, “The global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not. It’s remained a niche channel for early adopters.”

The move to the new Google Play Store brand should help Google reach a wider audience as more people are forced onto the service. Millions of dollars are being spent to add audiobooks, magazines, and newspapers. Other additions to Google Play could include a unified gaming platform.

Android chief Andy Rubin recently said, “2012 is going to be the year that we double down and make sure we’re winning in that [tablet] space,” so this move fits in with the strategy of heating up lukewarm sales.

Most of what is being reported today has already been discussed at length. Google has partnered with ASUS to release a 7-inch Android tablet around a price point $199. Digitimes has also echoed this rumor several times. Surprisingly, Samsung is also mentioned as a partner for Google’s online device store.

Samsung currently produces the Galaxy Nexus for Google, so we could see the unlocked HSPA+ version finally go on sale to US customers. The price of the unlocked Galaxy Nexus has already dropped to $489 on Amazon, so hopefully Google can match or beat that price.

The usual “people familiar with the matter” also claim that the next release of Android, codenamed Jelly Bean, will become available “in the middle of this year.” Google should unveil the first details of Jelly Bean at their sold-out Google IO conference in June.


Source: The Wall Street Journal

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • tatiG

    * Customer service not included

  • spazby

    I would prefer amazon, save on state tax…

  • Bryan Stoner

    Nice! This is a great move for Google. Asus is an awesome tablet manufacturer. And if Samsung joins the crowd too, that would make the store that much better.

    IMO Jelly Beam will be Honeycomb 2.0. But hey it could be anything!

    • Lane

      I hope not. I’m hoping Google takes the fragmentation cries seriously and figures out a way to update all devices when an update comes out.

      First off that means releasing updates for all platforms simultaneously.

      Second that means finding a way to update Android in such a way that the work hardware manufacturers put into making drivers isn’t completely thrown out.

      Make the OS more modular or something … I don’t really know what I’m talking about but the current update system sucks.

      • Healthy

        The one thing people fail to realize about the whole “update simultaneously” thing is that you are basically asking for the update to come out as late as possible.

        people cry a lot about not getting an update for their device when it already exists for another. can’t they step back and realize that they are going to get it when it is ready, and it would be MORE unfair if they demanded that people with ____ phone shouldn’t have their update already, even if it is good to go.

        ignorance is bliss i guess. but i think that is stupid.

      • Bryan Stoner

        You have a great point. It would be amazing if there was a way to do just that. Maybe one day their will be.

        But you chose Android did you not? It’s a choice that you have made. Google has made a choice to make Android updates readily available to the public and manufacturers alike. Is it Google’s fault if the _______ ________ doesn’t get updated in time? No of course not. There are companies that deliver their promises extremely quickly (Asus for example) and there are some that do not. You have to realize that maybe the manufacturer you have chosen to support wasn’t or was the right choice.

        The way you are currently thinking is that fragmentation is a bad thing. Have you ever thought otherwise? Devices are fitted with the version of Android that suits them perfectly. Plenty of developers still develop for froyo as the earliest generation to support. IT support is also pretty easy too since the interface doesn’t change that much between each revision. And even if you aren’t a techy and want the latest version I’m sure XDA and a helpful friend could lend you a hand.

        It all comes down to variety. You asked for it, you got it. Sure there are some bad things about making choices but that’s what it’s all about.

        If Jelly Bean truly was Honeycomb 2.0 I would fly to the moon and play among the stars because having the functionality of a desktop within a tablet would be a truly wonderful thing.

      • aranea

        Unfortunately, Google can’t force manufacturers and carriers to upgrade the phones and tablets. IMO it should be an enforced part of producing Google experience device. As manufacturers keep building over the vanilla Android, it takes forever for them to upgrade. Maybe Google somehow build enforce the manufacturers to include their skins as launchers. That way the Android on the phones can be upgraded without manufacturers virtually rewriting their UIs after every major Android upgrade.

        • xsynth

          That’s exactly what I was going to add. The manufactures would be far better off making their skins as launchers, which also then gives the option to turn on/off and go back to stock if the person wants to.

          Updates would (should – hopefully) go far smoother and faster that way

        • Bryan Stoner

          Whoa, that’s a really good idea~ That would help manufacturers save a tremendous amount of time.

      • Lane

        I am saying make Android more modular so manufacturers design the lower-level software to work with a specific piece of hardware but present itself to Android as some sort of standard. This way the Android part of the equation can be updated and the lower-level hardware interface can be left unchanged. Kind of similar to how apps run on Android.

        I think if there was a hardware interface standard that could choose what kind of APIs are supported (GPS, or NFC, or Tegra2) then Android could just be built around that and everybody who already had Android could upgrade immediately if your hardware is supported because there would be coherent standards.

        People expect Android phones to be updated and will complain about it until it is fixed just like people expected iOS devices to handle notifications better and everybody constantly complained about it until Apple admitted Android got something right and just did what works. All I am saying is Apple is doing something right here and Google needs to admit it and make a change.

        For decades people have been conditioned by Microsoft and Apple that they can upgrade their PCs when the new software comes out. You are just at the mercy of whoever made your hardware. This new idea of being unreasonably restricted to a specific version of software works against the grain of the regular user’s expectations, not just the expectations of nerds like us.

        • Bryan Stoner

          I certainly understand what you’re saying. The easiest example of this type of update process is the difference between the Asus Transformer and the Asus Slider. They have similar internals but they have subtle differences. The way to combat this situation is to simply flash a compatibility pack on top of the TF101 rom. That may possibly be a slight tangent but anyway a hardware manufacturer could have subtle differences that make their devices unique however, they would still follow a pre-determined standard.

          But what you’re asking is just too much. You would need the cooperation of every single manufacturer partaking in Android. Then there is training which would take up valuable time and money. Then there is the undeniable fact that a legacy of devices will not use this new android “architecture” per-say. Then you have to consider what will happen if there is a standard. Will every device lose their unique technical prowess that makes them a worth-while choice?

          Of course this is a pain in the ass for the user. Yet no matter which way you look at it, that is the nature of Android.

  • geiko

    This is great. It’s what the original Nexus One should have been. Who on this site needs customer service anyway?

  • Max.Steel

    They need MASSIVE, MASSIVE marketing. Try and get those people that didn’t get iPads and hell, even get some of those that got iPads.

  • WlfHart

    I hope sales go better than with their Nexus…

  • cwjones4

    As long as it has decent specs I would be all for this. Maybe there’s hope for tegra 3 if google is going to subsidize it! (the Memo was 249 originally…) although i’m not going to hold my breath on that

  • nathan118

    Would LOVE to buy a galaxy nexus from google. I got $500 burning a whole in my pocket!! Let me buy the darned thing with a US warranty! I don’t need frickin’ tmobile for tech support.

  • Aaron Sentell

    I can’t wait! Pre-ordering the minute I can..


    Ehh my next tabket will be windows 8

    • HeLLo

      Eh so fuck off

  • fingers26

    I hope Google understand that prices need to be lower to compete with all others manufacture… ASUS is one of the best. and need to be a market competitor with Samgsun 10.1.
    But hope to see soone this tablet..!!!

  • jlschulz

    I don’t understand. why would I care about a second operating system update that I’ll never receive. My Xoom already does everything I want from a tablet. Everything important is still PC based and always will because of Google’s refusal to actually ask people what it would taketo move them away from it. This garbage about the PC being dad is just that, garbage.

  • Mike

    sick of “google” branded devices
    they should be the flagship device and eet the bar in terms of hardware instead they are they release watered down devices with hardware that got about month left before new gen hardware is out
    Nexus 1 shitty GPU and screen that didnt even suppport true multitouch
    Nexus s was watered down galaxy s
    galaxy nexus wasn’t even a watered down GS2 specs were actually worst with a POS CPU and outdated slighly OC sgx540 that had juts enough GPU power on such a high rez screen that gave about the same GPU performance that you got with nexus s

  • Mike

    also subpar buggy delayed updated

  • teudster

    The last move by Google on the Nexus devices are less than desirable. However a 7″ tablet with a quad-core for $199 is hard to ignore. I will keep my cash tight in the pocket until we see the real product. ASUS please.

  • KC

    Lately Google Nexus smartphones (Galaxy Nexus) and other makes, like the HTC One series, are all becoming like iPhones – closed system devices. Sure, Android is supposedly Open Source but their devices are all becoming unfriendly and CLOSED – with no removable battery, no expansion slot, etc., breaking the very heart, trust and strength on which it was built.

    I hope this Nexus tablet (aka memoPad) is not CLOSED too. I would have to consider some other Open System, like Tizen (formerly Meego) or Mozilla’s coming mobile OS.

  • Nathan D.

    This was suspected for a while now and now it official more or less, to sell the deal Google needs to say this to make it really official.

  • ezMaverick

    I was about to buy Ainol Aurora but now I can wait for G.

  • sikku

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