British high street stores and online services including Argos, Currys and Tesco Direct are offering massive discounts on the Chromecast. Tesco Direct, the online arm of the supermarket chain, has knocked 40% off of Google’s streaming stick’s usual price unitl 26 August. Available for just £18, the offer includes £5 credit to watch movies through Tesco’s own-demand streaming service Blinkbox as a further sweetener.
Meanwhile, the British electronics retailers Currys and PC World are offering the Chromecast for £20 if you buy in store, or £18 from the website, with a free 90-day trial of Google Play All Access for unlimited music streaming if you buy before 30 September. This is, incidentally, the same price and offer that Amazon.co.uk is offering, though the online giant is limiting it until 15 September to buy and 30 September to register for All Access.
Argos have already reduced the price of the Chromecast to £20. For their part, Google have stayed firm on the regular retail price of £30.
The Chromecast is a USB-sized device that plugs into that back of any HDTV and allows you to control using existing smartphone, tablet or laptop – no remote required. It can then be used to stream – or ‘cast’ – music, photos, videos, websites to your big screen using apps from BBC iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music and Chrome.
Though these major discounts would seem to suggest the retailers are trying to shift an unpopulr product, but early reports suggest the Chromecast has sold very well in the UK, with the Dixons Group (owners of Currys and PC World) reporting that a Chromecast dongle was sold every 4.5 seconds on its UK launch day on 19 March. Select industry experts have subsequently claimed the product sold 100,000 units in its first two months, though Google haven’t released any official no sales figures.
Could these special offers be foreshadow the launch of the Android TV, Google’s new range of smart TVs coming soon? With roll out promised in the autumn at Google I/O, this seems highly likely.
For a guide to the best Chromecast apps, plus tutorials on how to make the most of your Chromecast, pick up Android Magazine issue 41, on sale now.