Aussie Google store hobbled for Nexus 7 launch


blog Well, we can’t say we’re surprised, given the shoddy treatment which search giant Google has consistently handed Australia when it comes to launching its services locally, but we are disappointed with the news as reported by Ausdroid (click here) and Gizmodo (click here) this week that Australians won’t be able to buy music, magazines, movies or TV through their Nexus 7 tablet when the device launches locally. Ausdroid reports:

“After seeing the news this morning that the UK would not be seeing these services at launch I asked Google Australia about them and have been advised that these services as well as Music ‘won’t be available at start’.”

We’ve seen this kind of behaviour from Google so many times before that it’s starting to become a cliche. We saw it with eBooks, we saw it with YouTube movie rentals, we saw it with Google Voice, we saw it with Google’s Chromebooks and we saw it with Google Music.

Many people — myself included — accuse Apple of being the most arrogant technology company on the face of the planet. It refuses 99.9 percent of all press enquiries with a “no comment”, gives no visibility on future product roadmaps, hoards cash like a miser and sues those who infringe its intellectual property rights in the slightest. And yet, every single time the company launches a new product (usually at 4AM, Sydney time), Apple is at pains to inform Australian consumers when and for how much that product will be available in Australia. With all of the billions of dollars of cash it has in the bank, I don’t see why it is so hard for Google to do the same.

We shouldn’t have to find out weeks after the Google Nexus 7 is unveiled through investigative work by bloggers that Google’s latest tablet will be hobbled in Australia. Google should be more up-front about this kind of stuff.


  1. Renai LeMay, small correction Its “we saw it with YouTube movie rentals” not “we say it with YouTube movie rentals”

  2. Oh and you forgot to mention that we pay $50 more for less services. and the GST and postage doesnt account for the increase in price. cuz you pay for postage any way! and GST on $200 is $20. Plus the higher AUD

  3. so all the reasons why this might kickoff in oz instead if kindle fire have evaporated a la lack of content. I thought this would be the case cuz movies & mp3 did not magically become available to me after the announcement.

    • You can rent and watch movies on your PC via Google Movies. I wonder why they are hobbling Android devices?

      • Just did a test and I can rent and watch Google movies on my Galaxy SII phone via the Google movies app.

        I can’t see why movies won’t be available on the Nexus.

        • You can rent movies in the plays store in Aus. but you cant buy! unlike the US where you can now buy the movie

          • Hopefully if the Nexus takes off Google will have the power to twist copyright owners into allowing it.

            I guess, as usual, the Aussie distributors are the problem.

  4. >Charge more for Nexus7 than US
    >Provide less features

    Not the strategy I would have chosen =/

  5. Hmm, my previous discussion with you Renai about this being successful in Australia because of its cheap, consumption factor is now moot.

    Very disappointing Google. I was considering buying one for interest. Not interested now. And won’t be recommending it. I’m as big an Apple critic as any. But at least they deliver with their products and services in this country.

    • Likewise with the kindle fire it would have been amazing if you could access the amazon prime features.

  6. Just to clarify what Google is stopping us from getting access to is Music, Magazines and TV Shows. Movies ARE available on Google Play for Australians.

    • “Movies ARE available on Google Play for Australians.”

      They certainly are. I’m currently watching the very unpleasant “Dear Mr Gacy” on my phone.

      Last week or so ago they had a lot of movies on special for 99c and I watched quite a few of them. The speed of delivery and the quality was great.

    • @James

      Yeah, I’ve done this for Netflix, but you’ve generally gotta pay for the VPN or else they restrict your speed.

      DroidVPN is free…..for now. But you’ll eventually almost certainly have to pay a subscription (seeing as Google recently put in the ability to charge in app subscriptions in Play)

      Still, it is an option….but not a mainstream one. So your average Joe isn’t gonna buy it.

      Again, disappointing Google….come one, get those distributors in line.

  7. For the “average joe” it’s much easier and faster to install a torrenting app on the Nexus and get all the content they are after the dodgy way.

    This is the perfect example of why piracy is rampant in Australia and is unlikely to stop anytime soon.

    Next month we’ll have AFACT complaining that piracy is on the rise again. They only have the companies they represent to blame, nobody else.

    I would have thought there were astute enough people in Google Australia to say to the distributors “look, if you don’t do this, people will just pirate the content”

    Their current reaction to that is “we’ll just lobby the govt to change the law” but i wonder how long that will last in reality. It could take them 3-4 years to get that implemented in reality.

    Meanwhile guess how everyone is getting content onto their tablets?

  8. @Ronson & @Dylanx

    Sorry I meant to say TV & MP3. Movies & eBooks are fine.

    MP3 is what I’m interested in as I refuse to buy off iTunes (There is no limit on how many CD players I can have over the years so why should there be a limit on PC’s?) I’m also not keen on their variable pricing model for DRM free tracks.

    I nearly bought the K Fire too until I realised Amazon premium was not available in Oz. I’ll stick to my Galaxy Note for now for books and comics and general web consumption.

  9. The Australian iTunes store didn’t open for years after the US and other countries had it, they wouldn’t give a timeline for when it would be available here, they launched with a smaller selection than in the US and we now pay a massively inflated price for the same music tracks as the US. Forgive me if I don’t hang my “Yay Apple” banner.

  10. It’s a bit mean to blame google when the issue *probably* is the licensing agreements. One day they’ll just have some decent world-wide licensing…. or at least inc. Australia with US :P

    I did a bit of work on a ‘dj game’ a while back – we wanted to license music but could only get ‘us only’ which sucked big time.

  11. Presumably those who have pre-ordered these will have a valid dispute with the supplier. You don’t expect to be buying a crippled product, and the content owners are clearly crippling this tablet.

    If you have one on order, I would suggest either cancelling or renegotiating your purchase. Let’s see, you get:

    Movie hire
    Music player

    You don’t get:
    Movie purchase

    I’d say offer Google $100, and maybe up to $130 at a pinch. It’s not their fault the device is hobbled, but they shouldn’t be releasing it in the Australian market like that.

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