The consumer gadget world in 2013 is a piece of silent kabuki
theater between the press and comically tight-lipped companies.
Pictures leak from Asian factories and accessory manufacturers up
until the moment of the theatrical product unveiling.
Well, the leak for
) newest phone, the Nexus 5, actually came from Google itself.
Last night, people started noticing the Nexus 5 in the
Google Play store
, selling for $349. An 8-gigabyte storage version was priced at
just $299. Since then, Google has squashed the leak, and the
year-old Nexus 4 is back, for the same price.
The screw-up validated several leaks about the phone's body. The
Nexus 5 has a rather large 1080p 4.95-inch display with very little
side bezel. The back-facing camera looks like it sticks out a bit,
unlike the one on the previous model. This could mean better camera
) 41-megapixel beast of a
). Previous leaks also hinted that Google stuck with
) for the processor, upgrading to a quicker 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800
The most interesting point here is the pricing. Anyone planning on
spending $350 on a Nexus 4 should hold off. Android 4.4, nicknamed
Kit-Kat, is generally a small iterative change over the last
version, but the screenshots of the leak show that Google gave its
own Hangouts app the slot normally reserved for SMS texting, as
Engadget points out
For investors, this is also interesting. Consumers see Google as
the provider of search results, free email, and such, but to Wall
Street, it's basically just an advertising company. However, as we
saw in Google's
latest earnings release,
the non-ad business grew 85% year-over-year while advertising grew
just 15%. The stuff outside of Google's core revenue stream,
including Nexus devices, Chromebooks, apps, and media on Google
Play and YouTube, is now $1.3 billion, or 9% of its total revenue,
not counting the money-losing Motorola Mobility unit.
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