The Chromecast, Google’s seemingly pretty successful third attempt at conquering the living room(Nexus Q and GoogleTV weren’t terribly commercially successful), looks set to officially expand availability outside the US, with UK based Electrical retailer Currys expecting to begin sales of the dongle in their stores on March 1st.
A Currys rep said that the date was provisional but the date ties into other rumours that are circulating regarding plans to expand the availability outside of the US, namely even here in Australia. While no dates have been given, there’s been talk around Google introducing the dongle into Australia ‘within months’. Whether this would be via Google Play or through a bricks and mortar retailer and at what price it will be when it arrives is anyones guess.
With Harvey Norman and JB Hifi already selling Chromebooks as well as Nexus tablets and phones in their stores. These two Australian retail giants would make the perfect choice as partners for selling the Chromecast, which would make a great add-on sale for their Audio-Visual departments.
There’s also been talk about Google having ‘Big Plans’ for Chromecast and getting the dongle into the hands of consumers in more markets is what’s needed to take Chromecast to the next level. In their recent earnings reports, the Chromecast was named as their best hardware seller – and at $35 apiece it’s easy to see why – but with the US market having had exclusive access to the dongle since its release in August, it appears the time is nigh for Google to look further afield into new markets.
With at least three major services – Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO Go – still blocked here in Australia for Chromecast users who have imported the dongle, there is at least rumours of at least Netflix possibly launching in Australia this year. Those ‘Big Plans’ that Google is rumoured to be talking about for Chromecast could perhaps see the addition of Netflix streaming video to Australian shores in a co-launch of some description.