Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), in an effort to join the new technological “space race” that is digital television, was on its way to launching the Nexus Q, which was designed to allow for video and audio streaming. This was going to launch Google into the very intense competition with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the battle for family viewing pleasure in a digital universe. The Nexus Q was revealed with great fanfare in June, and then just last week …
It didn’t launch. Or, at least Google said it wasn’t going to do so. The official word came from the company, which had sent some early copies of the black ball for some feedback, and the feedback prompted Google to send a letter to customers who had ordered the $299 product – “we have decided to postpone the consumer launch of Nexus Q while we work on making it even better.”
While this was a step-out for Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), its first foray into two new aspects of tech – hardward and social media technology, it does seem to give pause to Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) fans and investors. The company has been pretty good with its launches, and to abort one like this may seem out of character. But this is not the first time Google took a wrong turn with TV-related products – some may note Google TV hasn’t gotten off the ground in any reasonable way and has had its problems even after it was initially delayed for improvements to the software. But now, with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) establishing Apple TV, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) bringing about a couple of streaming services for its Kindle Fire, and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:NSFT) establishing services that will work for Windows 8 computers, Windows phones and the soon-to-be launched Surface tablet, Google may be finding itself already behind the 8-ball.
A couple of the major issues with the Q has been that it only streams music and video from Google’s limited Google Play and Google Music libraries, while some of the other products out there (Boxee, Roku, Apple TV) can be used from various sources, not just proprietary ones. And the price is expensive, in that it does not do more than the other products and is much more expensive.
While Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is doing just fine and won’t be hurt generally by the Nexus Q or Google TV, with advertising money being directed away from print and radio and more toward television and movies (one report lists that advertisers may spend $65 billion on television advertising this year, compared to just $39 billion for online advertising) to fit with the trend in society, getting in to the market will be vitally important. There is a definite loyalty factor; if a company gets a consumer to buy its device and use its services, that user will be less likely to switch, especially after a certain amount of time. So getting in soon will be crucial as the digital TV market continues to evolve and grow.