Google Prepares to Resurrect the Dead

The Nexus Q died a quick and silent death last year, but now it's time for Google to bring it back to the land of the living. This time around, Big G needs to do it right.

Evan Niu
Evan Niu, CFA
May 20, 2013 at 8:30PM
Technology and Telecom

Last week, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) held its I/O developer conference that included a wide range of announcements. Making good on his word, Chrome and Android chief Sundar Pichai had hinted before the event that the company wouldn't be focusing on product launches. Indeed, there wasn't much to speak of on the hardware front, with the most notable absence being no word on a second-generation Nexus 7.

There were also rumors heading into I/O (which proved accurate) that Google would not unveil a new Nexus Q, the doomed set-top box that only streamed content from Android devices and cost three times as much as the competition. I still believe that Google must resurrect the Nexus Q eventually, but reposition it more broadly.

Well, Google may be preparing to do just that, judging by a recent FCC filing. There's not a whole lot of detail in the filing beyond the fact that the device in the filing is intended to be a media player and has Wi-Fi connectivity. The device is a fixed base station with a power supply, ruling out the likelihood that this is a tablet of some sort.

The filing is just more evidence that Google is about to revamp the Nexus Q, and hopefully the search giant will do it properly this time. The company has little choice but to release some type of set-top box if it hopes to compete with Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon.com in the living room.

While Apple TV remains a hobby for the Mac maker, the $99 set-top box continues to grow and add new third-party content services. Microsoft is also rumored to be working on a similar Xbox TV device that's more affordable than its dedicated gaming console, while investors are also expecting Amazon to release a "Kindle TV" device later this year.

The war for the living room will be intense, and Google needs a new Nexus Q in its arsenal.