One of the most overlooked elements of the Chrome OS hardware retail efforts (call them Chromebooks, if you will) is that since their launch over two months ago, one could only buy a new one through two outlets. One was Amazon, and the other was Best Buy’s website. You cannot waltz into a store and buy a Chromebook. The reasoning behind this has been that Google doesn’t want unsuspecting buyers to walk into a retail store an accidently purchase a Chromebook that cannot have native applications installed.
Well, one more online outlet has gotten into the Chromebook game in TigerDirect, a company known for selling computer hardware on the cheap.
It should be noted that the Chromebook offerings that are located on Tiger’s site are priced the exact same as both Amazon and Best Buy for the time being. As time goes on, and more models are introduced I would expect there to be more competition in terms of price, but for the time being it’s pretty homogenous where you buy your Chrome OS device from.
At some point soon, especially with the holiday season coming up, I would think that Google would begin to expand their Chromebook retail sources. I often wonder whether they over thought the strategy of leaving Chromebooks out of brick and mortar stores. The target market for these computers would seem to target the buyers that specifically go to outlets like Best Buy to get more understanding on what they are purchasing.
That’s why I think Best Buy over time will have a major influence in sales of Chromebooks. Giving their online store early access to selling them was a smart move by Google. The question is, what kind of incentive can Google provide to Best Buy in order to have them tout Chromebooks as a superior choice over clunky Windows devices for some buyers?
via Chrome Story