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Google gets into the retail phone business

April 24, 2012|By Michelle Maltais
  • A screen shot from the Google Play site.
A screen shot from the Google Play site. (Google )

Not only did Google launch its cloud service today, it also got into the retail phone business, selling the Galaxy Nexus directly to consumers through its Google Play marketplace.

The unlocked, unsubsidized phone goes for $399 and is compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile and other GSM service providers. This one won't work on Verizon or Sprint.

The Nexus runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). All the specs on the phone are the same as the ones sold with contracts.

So far, this is the only offering under the "Shop Devices" tab of Google Play, the media hub where consumers can get music, apps, movies and books.

And just in case you haven't read the terms of service, the site says by making a purchase there you are agreeing that "you will not engage in any commercial resale of Devices ordered from this site."

To that end, don't think of stocking up on the phones. In the purchase restrictions, Google states that you can buy a maximum of five Galaxy Nexus phones on Google Play. "Users attempting to purchase more than five phones using multiple Google Accounts will be in violation of our policy and their orders will be cancelled." 

This comes after a Wall Street Journal report that Google planned to sell Android tablets directly to consumers online.

It's not the first time Google has attempted this strategy. It unsuccessfully tried something similar with the Nexus One Android phone in 2010.

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Cloud storage providers weigh in on Google Drive

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