Staples has announced today that it is now accepting pre-orders of the Nexus 7 Android tablet. Google has been accepting pre-orders at the Play Store since the day the device was first announced, but anyone who hasn’t yet put their money down can order from Staples.com. The 8 GB Nexus 7 costs $199, and the 16 GB version costs $249. (So far, I’ve only been able to located the 16 GB product page here.)
Delivery is expected within 3 to 6 business days, so people who order from Staples are likely to receive their shipment in the same “mid July” window Google first announced. And while that’s great news for customers who opt to buy from Staples, the fact that the Play will be carried by the company is even more important.
Staples says that later this month, the Nexus 7 will be available in brick and mortar retail stores as well. That will give shoppers a chance to actually touch and test the device in person rather than rely on videos and online reviews. Relying on strictly online sales would limit Google to a niche audience that already knows about the product or visits the Play Store. While that kind of strategy might work for Amazon, which has a much larger online retail presence, even the Kindle Fire can be found in Wal-Mart and seen up close in person.
The Nexus 7 will benefit from the foot traffic of Staples and be exposed to more people than it would by relying on the Play Store.