Tomorrow, Google is expected to take the wraps off its next Nexus smartphones and — if a recent rumor is to be believed — the company might return to a marketing strategy used with the original Nexus back in 2010. Android Police’s sources tell them that Google will only sell the new LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6P direct, online only, and won’t be making them available through carriers. If true, it’s an interesting move from Google and one which might not go down so well with consumers familiar with picking up devices from their favorite carrier stores…
Previously, we’d read that the smaller LG-made Nexus 5X would cost $400. AP added another post this morning claiming that pre-orders will start from September 29, and the LG Nexus 5X will be available from $379. We’re expecting the device to be available in white, mint green and black (Quartz, Ice Blue and Carbon), with 16GB and 32GB storage options for all three colors. It’s expected that initial pre-orders will be limited to US, UK, Korea, Japan and Ireland.
While pricing for the Nexus 6P is expected to be higher than the smaller 5X, it looks as though it may be restrained as far as premium flagships go. Android Police notes that the device will go on sale direct through Google, with prices starting at $499.99 for the 32GB model. Unlike the smaller Nexus made by LG, the Huawei Nexus will be available in Canada as well as all the previously mentioned regions, apart from Korea.
We can only speculate as to reasons why Google would choose to limit sales this way. In the States, a plausible explanation is that it wants to be able to push its Fi service over traditional carriers. Although the Nexus handsets will be available unlocked, and compatible with most U.S. carriers, by selling them direct, they can expose all potential Nexus purchasers to its innovative wireless solution.
Another equally plausible reason is to make it easier to push out its monthly software updates. There are currently nine builds of Android 5.1.1 out in the wild, all of which pushed directly by Google, sent out to various carrier models of Nexus 6. And that’s just in the US. By selling just one unlocked model for all carriers, Google won’t have to work on as many software versions simultaneously and try get them to customers all at the same time. Having committed to monthly security updates recently, the company has to make the process as simple and quick as possible. There’s also the argument that it cuts out any middle men, and presumable costs Google less to sell the Nexus phone directly from its Play Store.