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Instant Analysis: Alphabet Opens Project Fi to Everyone

By Evan Niu, CFA - Mar 7, 2016 at 3:00PM

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Google transitions Project Fi away from its invite-only system, but it still requires a Nexus device.

Image source: Google.

What happened?
Following 10 months of being invite-only, Alphabet (GOOG 0.45%) (GOOGL 0.52%) is opening up its Project Fi service to all consumers in the U.S., according to the official Android blog. Meanwhile, the company said it wanted to share 7 important insights that it's learned since Project Fi's inception:

  1. Project Fi users travel a lot
  2. Quality public Wi-Fi is abundant
  3. Users like details about their data usage
  4. Users appreciate SIM-only plans for other connected devices
  5. Users appreciate 24/7 live support
  6. Fi customers are creative
  7. Lots of people want to join Project Fi

Does it matter?
While Project Fi is ditching its invite-only system, there is still an important limitation of Project Fi that threatens adoption: Project Fi is still limited to Nexus devices. At least when it comes to handsets. Project Fi's SIM-only plans work on a wider range of devices, including iPads.

Considering the fact that the vast majority of tablets lack cellular connectivity and Nexus devices similarly comprise a small portion of the overall handset market, Project Fi's impact on the market will still be limited. Google is offering a limited-time promotion for the Nexus 5X, bringing the price down to $199 (from the normal $349) as an effort to bolster Fi's appeal.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Evan Niu, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares) and Alphabet (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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