Google kills its first Apple TV competitor

Google kills its first Apple TV competitor

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The Nexus Player is no longer available.
The Nexus Player is no longer available.
Photo: Google

Google has again given up on competing with the Apple TV and other set-top boxes after discontinuing the Nexus Player. The Asus-made device is no longer available from the Google Store — but this doesn’t mean Android TV is dead.

When the Nexus Player made its debut back in November 2014, it looked like the ideal set-top box, combining content from popular services like Netflix, Hulu, and the Google Play Store with Android apps and games that you could enjoy on your TV.

The Apple TV didn’t offer apps back then, which made the Nexus Player and Android TV even more exciting. But it clearly wasn’t exciting enough to get a successor. Just 18 months after the Nexus Player went on sale, Google has stopped selling it.

You can still buy the Nexus Player from third-party retailers, but it seems unlikely Asus will still be making the device if Google has given up on it. That means that once stock has dried up, you’ll only be able to get second-hand units on eBay and Craigslist.

But this isn’t the end for Android TV. The platform is still being supported by TV manufacturers like Sony, which is installing it on its latest sets, and you can still buy Android TV boxes made by others. Google is also working on an Android N upgrade for these devices.

Android TV isn’t a failure, then, but maybe the Nexus Player itself just wasn’t selling well enough to warrant a successor. Google has confirmed that the box has been discontinued, and it didn’t announce a new model at I/O last week.

Google’s focus now will be on its Chromecast devices, which are big sellers. The little dongles, which sell for under $40 each, where the most popular streaming devices of 2015, according to Strategy Analytics, and have sold 25 million units since making their debut.

Via: The Verge