Despite little success selling smartphones, Google is reportedly ready to sell co-branded tablets directly to consumers through an online store.
“Google, undaunted by a short-lived attempt to market and sell smartphones on its own, [is on] a quest to capture market share from Apple Inc.'s iPad,” reports The Wall Street Journal. Put another way, “Google's so freaked out about the iPad and lousy Android sales that it's opening an online tablet store, Business Insider writes.
“Unlike Apple, which controls its ecosystem, Google leaves nearly everything to partners, which can lead to a disjointed or fragmented user experience that can tarnish the entire Android brand,” notes GigaOm. Still, “While it’s true that Google’s Android OS isn’t making huge dents … it’s not clear if the issue is the retail strategy associated with it.”
“Although Google will take over the distribution part of the process, it is expected to will leave the manufacturing of the tablets to its partners,” reports The Los Angeles Times, citing the WSJ story. “Google probably [will] likely rely on Samsung Electronics Co. and ASUSTeK Computer Inc. to produce the machines.”
“The move could add to the downward pressure on the price of Android tablets made by other companies, which are competing with the $199 Fire at one end and the $399 entry-level iPad at the other,” The Seattle Times suggests.
Regarding the new store, AppleInsider reports: “The business model is identical to how Google operated with the Nexus One, which was built by Chinese smartphone maker HTC.”
Unfortunately, as PCMag recalls, “Google sold the Nexus One through its own online portal in the first half of 2010, but had shut down that venture by the summer of that year as sales of other Android-based phones began to take off.”
As the time, Google “said carriers were crushing its ability to sell the device,” according to 9To5Google.
“Still, there is some hope for Google,” writes VatorNews. “Thanks, perhaps, to the holiday release of the Kindle Fire … Android tablets made a big dent in the market last year, more than tripling the number of tablets sold from 3.1 million to 10.5, and also gaining 10% more of the global marketshare.”