When it comes to the living room, it seems Google just can't catch a break. Pre-orders for the company's latest effort, the Nexus Player, started briefly on Friday, but there was a bit of a problem. The Asus-made device hadn't yet been approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As a result, Google was embarrassingly forced to shut down pre-orders just as soon as they began.
As a message on the Google Play store explains, "This device has not been approved by the Federal Communications Commission. It is not for sale until approval of the FCC has been obtained." Among other duties, the agency certifies devices that emit electromagnetic radiation, and such products must be approved before going on sale in the US.
According to a person familiar with the matter, the Nexus Player has already been submitted to the FCC for review. The company plans to ship the device in early November — possibly in time for its original November 3rd release date. In fact, documentation posted to the FCC's website (first spotted by Engadget) shows that, as of October 19th, the device has received approval. Unfortunately for Google, that approval came two days after it intended to start pre-orders for the device. Nevertheless, with that approval in hand, Google should have no issue selling the device as originally planned.
It remains unclear what caused the mixup with the Nexus Player's FCC approval process. Typically, companies submit their applications to the FCC well before a product is announced, with a request that photos and other details be kept under wraps until a specified date. That way, the companies can sell devices shortly after announcing them. It's possible that Google or Asus simply waited too long to file with the FCC. However, it's more likely that there was some miscommunication between Asus and the team behind the Google Play store. Google hasn't yet released a statement on the Nexus Player's status at the FCC.
No FCC approval means no pre-orders
The Nexus Player is the first product to run Android TV, Google's latest push to gain a foothold in the living room. It follows the failed Google TV platform, which hoped to bring a modern, web-connected interface to TVs, set-top boxes, and other A/V equipment. Separately, Google also attempted to launch an web-connected media streaming device, called the Nexus Q. It was overpriced and had extremely limited functionality — it never hit store shelves. More recently, however, the company has seen success with its bargain-priced Chromecast device. If Google can get its Nexus Player through the FCC, it hopes to build on that success.
Update, October 19th, 9:36AM ET: Added information on the Nexus Player's expected release date.
Update, October 19th, 10:17AM ET: Documentation from the FCC (via Engadget) shows that the device has just been certified. The article has been modified appropriately.