Google has finally added a device section to its content marketplace Google Play in India, allowing users to purchase Google branded devices – handsets and tablets – in India. This comes right after Google Chairman Eric Schmidt mentioned that they are working to fully service the market in India to provide Nexus devices. That was quick.
Nexus 7: Currently, the Play Store in India offers a 16GB WiFi-only Nexus 7 for Rs 15,999. The device comes with 7 inch HD display with 1280*800 pixel resolution. Apart from that the device sports Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1.2 megapixel front facing camera, 1GB RAM, and 4325 mAH battery. It also includes WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth, microUSB port, Accelerometer, GPS, Magnetometer, and Gyroscope.
Note that while Google allows you to purchase the device, it will start shipping the device only by April 5, 2013. Users can buy the tablet through a Google Wallet account, similar to how users currently purchase paid Android apps on Google Play. Sadly, however, Google Wallet currently supports only credit cards as a payment option.
Testing the waters?
Asus, OEM for the Nexus 7 tablet, had launched the device in India in November 2012 for Rs 19,981, the tablet was available for purchase in stores such as Chroma, Homeshop18, among others. Note that the Nexus 7 isn’t exactly a new device, in fact it’s almost a year old and was launched in June 2012 during the Google I/O event. However, this could be an indication that Google is testing the Play Store device section performance in India and could possibly lead to instant Nexus device launches in India in future.
Google has typically shied away from launching its Nexus devices in India, which we believe is due to the fact that devices sold in an unsubsidized manner in India. When Google sells its Nexus devices for cheap in the US, it expects to make money from their after sales service through apps, music, ebooks, among others. However, the Indian market is still getting used to the concept of buying content. It’s no surprise that Google has opened its device section in the Play Store after launching its eBooks store last month. It makes sense for Google to launch the device when there’s more content to be purchased, and in return monetize the device.
Hopefully, we would see the recently launched Nexus 4 smartphone and other Nexus devices in the Play Store soon.
Google Play Developments
In October 2012, Google had officially announced that developers in India can sell paid applications, in-app products, and subscriptions in Google Play, with monthly payouts going to their local bank accounts. The company had also then mentioned that India was the fourth-largest market worldwide for Android app downloads and users had downloaded more apps in the last six months, than in the previous three years combined.
Updates: this article erroneously stated that Google Play had launched books in February 2012 instead of February 2013. The error is regretted. Thanks for pointing it out.