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Google nixes Nexus Q launch, gives away free units to people who pre-ordered

Google (s GOOG) won’t be competing with Sonos after all – or not any time soon, anyway: The company just informed people who had pre-ordered the its Nexus Q device that it has “decided to postpone the consumer launch of Nexus Q while we work on making it even better,” according to an email first spotted by AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes. The company’s Google Play store now simply states that the device is “not for sale at this time.”

However, Google didn’t want to completely disappoint the folks who pre-ordered the Nexus Q in recent weeks, which is why it will be sending them free units of the device.

The about-face is likely in response to the overwhelmingly negative reviews the device has been getting. The Nexus Q is based on Android 4.0, but can only be used with a second-screen remote control, and the only content playable on the $300 unit is music stored on Google Play, movies and TV shows from Google Play and YouTube videos.

Check out our video review of the Nexus Q below:

Still, it looks like some of the technology developed for the Nexus Q will live on, regardless of whether Google is going to eventually revive the device. GigaOM was first to report last week that the Nexus Q’s second-screen experience, which bears similarities to Apple’s (s AAPL) AirPlay, is going to come to Google TV later this year.

7 Responses to “Google nixes Nexus Q launch, gives away free units to people who pre-ordered”

  1. Google is running into trouble trying to be all things to all people, Microsoft will also learn the same lesson at the end of this year with the Surface and Windows 8, however one thing will happen before the Christmas buying season Tim Cook and Apple will execute.

  2. Travis Henning

    Good on Google for listening to the feedback both through the critics and the pre-orders.
    They probably aren’t out a whole lot other than maybe a bit of a ding to their ego, since they likely had less a couple thousand pre-orders.

      • Travis Henning

        Good point. Though I imagine they will continue to use ideas from the ‘Q’ in other products or even improve the device and try another roll-out. Either way the R&D will be of use in some capacity.
        I was looking at it more from a “how many free units will they have to ship” perspective. Plus they prevented a lot of negative commentary from end-users who would have been unhappy with the device.

        • Fair enough. Not sure if this “pull it now” attitude won’t get them a lot of bad PR…it seems to reinforce the belief of eternal beta many hold towards Google – me included.

      • Travis Henning

        Agreed. Google is getting a reputation of throwing as much stuff out there in an attempt to see what sticks. Right now its only the tech-savvy that are following this storyline, but if they continue to go to market with significantly deficient products, especially hardware, general consumers will grow weary. This is the big danger for Google as a hardware manufacturer. Plus there are the support issues that go along with being a hardware supplier. We’ll see if they’re up to it.