Google announced earlier that it is now selling the Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus in the Google Play market. Google’s original attempts to sell Android handsets directly via its website were unsuccessful and the effort was discontinued.
This new initiative is possible because of improvements in the Google Play market. In addition, $399 is not a bad price for an unlocked phone. The appearance of the Galaxy Nexus is also likely something of a “dry run” for the arrival of a Google-branded tablet later this year.
That tablet is supposed to be 7 inches and compete directly with the Kindle Fire. It is also rumored that it will be priced to match or beat the $199 Kindle Fire.
Beyond the Galaxy Nexus and coming Google tablet, “shop devices” implies that there will be multiple devices in Google Play over time. Indeed, Google’s soon-to-close acquisition of Motorola Mobility may involve the company in the direct manufacture and sale of multiple handsets and tablets (and other hardware) over time.