A stark price prediction, yes, but it's grounded in how the product has already been received since it was announced this week at Google's developer conference. While the Nexus Q is an interesting product, and an intriguing move from Google, early industry assessments suggest that its limitations are too severe to justify the retail price tag. That means that consumers could be very hesitant to jump aboard, and we could see quick price cuts in response.
But First, What Does the Google Nexus Q Do?This Android 4.0-based receiver allows you to stream content from YouTube and Google Play to your home theater system. It features dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and near-field communication technology, and it can be controlled by your Android device. But it can only be controlled by your Android device, as it doesn't come with its own remote control. Moreover, it only supports Google apps, which includes Google Play Music, Google Play Movies and TV, and YouTube. That seemingly means no support for Hulu or Netflix, both popular media streaming sites. For comparison, Apple TV allows for Netflix, while the Roku offers both.
However, the Nexus Q does impressively feature audio connections and a built-in amp that allow you to hook up unpowered speakers directly to the box, without the need for an adapter. The aforementioned receivers don't have this capacity.
But ultimately, regardless of how it compares, the $299 price tag is staggering, especially when you consider the going rate for competitor products; we last saw the latest Apple TV for $89 a few days ago. And we've seen numerous Roku models for under $70. So although the Google Nexus Q might partially have a higher price sticker due to the company's insistence on manufacturing the product in the U.S., it may very well have a tough time winning over consumers who are also interested in cheaper alternatives. If the Nexus Q doesn't reach its target market, then it will almost certainly see sizable discounts in price.
If the Nexus Q Misses the Mark, It Could Hit $100 by April
Whenever a new electronics item struggles to succeed, we tend to see swift and deep discounts to encourage purchases. If the Nexus Q is received with lackluster consumer interest (as several media outlets seem to predict), this could mean quick cuts to that high retail price.
In order to discern just how low the Nexus Q could go, we looked to the last Google streaming product, the Logitech Revue, for some price insight. The device was available for preorders in October 2010, for $299.99, and just two months later, it dropped to $250. By May of 2011 it hit $200, and in July of that same year, the Logitech Revue came in at a staggering low of $100. (We have since seen it for $80.) That means, nine months and three weeks after it debuted, the mediocre response to the Google TV-equipped Logitech Revue drove it to sub-$100 prices.
The Nexus Q is available for preorders now, and it will ship in mid-July. And if it suffers a similar fate, by the middle of April 2013, it could potentially cost you about what you'd pay for an Apple TV. If you're an early adapter though that must try the latest toys, then consider at least waiting until the beginning of September to buy. It's then that we could start seeing deals that take about 17% off, which translates into a $250 price tag; Black Friday and the holiday season, too, could bring even steeper discounts still.
Eager to get in on one of those potential price cuts? Set up an email alert now, so you'll be notified the second they hit our site. And for more price trend information, check out our consumer shopping research page.