Google unveils everything Apple just launched, but cheaper
Google unveils everything Apple launched, but cheaper
Published: Sept 29, 2015 6:08 p.m. ET
By JENNIFER BOOTON
iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. Refreshed Apple TV. Enterprise-focused iPad Pro.
Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Refreshed Chromecast. Enterprise-focused Pixel C tablet.
Those lineups show the similarities between the new products Google Inc. announced Tuesday and those Apple Inc. announced earlier this month. The big difference between the two companies’ new offerings is price, with Google undercutting Apple across the board.
Google introduced two new Android smartphones, the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, at a product event on Tuesday. Both phones — manufactured by LG and Huawei, respectively — will be sold as unlocked devices, meaning they can be purchased directly through Google’s digital store or at partner brick-and-mortar retailers and used with a wide variety of carriers. They will also be compatible with Project Fi, Google’s new WiFi program, part of a trend among Google, Apple and more to take over parts of the wireless business previously reserved for carriers.
The 5.2-inch Nexus 5X will retail for $379 and up, while the 5.7-inch Nexus 6P will start at $429. Both devices will come equipped with fingerprint technology similar to Apple’s TouchID, though the sensor is on the back of the phones, and will operate on Android’s upcoming Marshmallow operating system.
Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus, unveiled at Apple’s product event earlier this month, can also be purchased as unlocked phones directly through Apple for $549 and $649, respectively. Apple also offers a monthly pricing plan that allows consumers to upgrade every time a new iPhone hits the market.
Google is sweetening the deal by offering a $50 Google Play app-store credit and free three-month trial subscription to Google Play Music. Apple also offered a free three-month trial for Apple Music.
Tablets for the workplace are all the rage this year. Google launched its answer to the iPad Pro and Microsoft Inc.’s Surface Pro with a new tablet called Pixel C on Tuesday that will start at $499, versus $799 for the iPad Pro. Pixel C will also come with a detachable keyboard, which can be purchased separately for $149; Apple’s keyboard costs $169. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 starts at $699 and offers a $129.99 keyboard. Unlike both tablets from Apple and Microsoft, Google is not marketing the Pixel C with a stylus.
Google launched its second-generation Chromecast device that will retail for $35. It will receive support for Showtime content immediately, and Sling TV and Spotify will join within a few weeks. The device already supports Netflix, Google Play Movies, HBO Now, Hulu, Pandora and many other streaming services. Google also launched a $35 Chromecast Audio device with a plug-in that can turn a user’s existing speaker into a conduit for music streaming.
Earlier this month, Apple unveiled its fourth-generation Apple TV, which comes with a remote control, Siri compatibility, and content from similar streaming services for $149, though Apple’s TV streaming device does not natively support Apple Music’s rival streaming services.
The only place where Google is not trying to undercut Apple by price is music streaming. Both Apple and Google offer music streaming services for $9.99 a month. Google unveiled a six-person family plan on Tuesday that will cost $14.99 a month, matching the price of Apple’s six-person family plan launched earlier this month.
Shares of Google rose ahead of its product event but declined slightly after it kicked off, ultimately closing down 0.3% at $622.61. Apple’s stock declined throughout the day, with the fall accelerating after the Google event, and shares ultimately closed down 3% at $109.06.