Google today announced their widely anticipated Nexus 6 Android flagship smartphone. They unveiled two additional devices – one a Nexus 9 – a 8.9″ IPS screened tablet sporting 8MP rear camera, 1.6MP front camera. The other a Nexus Player featuring apps, games and more for your TV. Both the tablet and smartphone will run the latest version of Android 5.0 – now known as Lollipop.
Focusing solely on the Nexus 6 for a minute I wonder how many users will gravitate to a Nexus versus the popular iPhone they see their friends and family using.
Google will sell the Nexus 6 at a starting price of $ 649 for 32 GB of storage and an as yet unknown cost for 64 GB of storage. Sales are slated to begin in November with pre-orders beginning “late October”. This is only $100 over the off-contract price for an iPhone 6 Plus. On-contract pricing for the Nexus 6 has not yet been released.
Unlike last time for the Nexus 5, now Google has all the North American carriers on board with each offering an on-contract Nexus 6 option as well as an off-plan (fully priced) option.
Here’s where I think Google may hit Nexus speed bumps.
First, the starting price of $649 is $250 more than a comparable Nexus 5. The pricing is roughly the same as a new iPhone 6 Plus. Will end users flock to such a price jump? Outside of the technology geeks, there has never been a mainstream market for Nexus devices even when the price was significantly lower – and contract free – than other options.
Secondly, the size. At 5.96″ this is the biggest Nexus smartphone ever. Although the Nexus 6 5.96-inch QHD display (493 pixels per inch) crams in slightly more pixels than the iPhone 6 Plus’s 401 pixels per inch – the difference in screen quality may not be enough to move buyers to purchase Nexus over iPhone – especially in a retail store with a salesperson who may suggest the tried and true iPhone which has a smaller screen version. With the new Nexus, it’s big screen or buy another phone.
Lastly, it’s very difficult to overcome demand for a phone like the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy smartphones which is driven by seeing one in use by all your friends. How many Nexus devices have you seen “in the wild” versus iPhones. And there is my point. When a user walks into a carrier store and asks to see the smartphone options available – how long do you think the salespeople will take on explaining the Nexus phone? My guess – not long.
I use a Moto X 2014 as my daily driver. It’s a great phone. By all indications the Motorola built Nexus 6 is going to continue to offer the same great user experience and build quality as it’s smaller brother.
My question? Is Nexus 6 too expensive and too big for it to capture meaningful market share?