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Google Takes On iPhone 6 Plus, iPad + Apple TV With New Nexus Offering

Google Takes On iPhone 6 Plus, iPad + Apple TV With New Nexus Offering

Google’s new premium devices include the Nexus 6 smartphone, Nexus 9 tablet and a Nexus Player set-top box.

Ironically Google has priced the devices close to the cost of the Apple iPhone 6, iPad and Apple TV device. 

This is a major shift by Google who is generating excellent sales via Harvey Norman and JB Hi Fi in Australia.

Google said all three new devices can be pre-ordered online later this week. The phone will be sold in 27 countries including Australia and in stores in November.

Google has confirmed that the new devices will run on the new Lollipop OS.

At 5.9 inches diagonally, the Nexus 6 is larger than Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus, which measures 5.5 inches. It will sell for $649, compared with $749 for the iPhone 6 Plus. Last year, Google introduced the Nexus 5 at $349.

The Wall Street Journal said that unlike Apple, Google also licenses its operating system to other phone makers. With the new releases, Google is trying both to compete more with Apple at the premium end of the mobile-device market and help partners churn out cheap handsets for developing markets.

“We deeply respect what Apple is doing, but we take a very different approach,” said Sundar Pichai, who runs Google’s Android, Chrome and Apps businesses. “With Android L, we wanted to show the entire spectrum.”

Mr. Pichai said the goal of Nexus products is not to sell lots of devices, but to provide a “roadmap” to help other Android device makers, such as Samsung develop similar products.

The Nexus 6 smartphone is made by Motorola Mobility, the handset manufacturer that Google is selling to China’s Lenovo Group.

The Nexus 9 tablet, which is made by HTC, features an 8.9-inch screen, and starts at US $399. An optional keyboard cover costs US $129. It will be available in 30 countries and in stores next month.

Google hopes the Nexus 9 can substitute for laptops in some work situations. Microsoft has tried that strategy with its Surface tablet, but it has failed to catch on with lots of consumers. Mr. Pichai said many people already use Android tablets, which should help get the Nexus 9 adopted in the office and on business trips.

The Nexus 9’s $399 starting price is also close to what Apple charges for its iPads. The 9.7-inch tablets from Apple start at $399 and the latest iPad Air tablet is starts $499. Apple is expected to unveil new iPads Thursday.

The Nexus Player is a small set-top box that is made by Asus it is shaped like a hockey puck that connects to TVs and uses Wi-Fi to stream movies and TV shows. It doubles as a gaming console, letting users play Android games on a larger screen.