April 24, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Say what, now? Google has decided to take another stab at selling phones directly to consumers by launching a new Devices section in the Google Play web store. The first device to go on sale is the Galaxy Nexus, available now for only $399. And yes, that’s $399 without any contract requirements.
Google is selling an unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile. The phone supports 3G and HSPA+, though speeds will vary depending on which network the customer chooses. It’s a Pure Google device with no contract or commitment and it costs only $100 more to own outright than most Galaxy Nexus owners paid on contract.
This is a welcome change from Google, but a surprising one. Google was unsuccessful when it tried to sell phones directly to consumers with the Nexus One. The American market just wasn’t ready for that model, so Google shut down its web storefront. Play Devices shows that the company hasn’t given up hope just yet. It also indicates that more devices are on the way – Nexus tablet, anyone? – if this go-round proves more successful than the last.
Andy Rubin, SVP of Mobile and Digital Content, says Google hopes to sell the Galaxy Nexus in more countries soon. For now, U.S. customers can head here to purchase the Galaxy Nexus unlocked for only $399. The phone comes pre-loaded with Google Wallet and a $10 credit, has a 4.65 HD Super AMOLED screen, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, and runs the latest version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich.