It's pretty unusual to see a fire sale for a brand new tablet, but that's exactly the route HTC took with its Nexus 9 today. Yes, just one day after it launched. The company quickly sold through a limited quantity of 16GB Nexus 9 tablets for $199 — half off the regular $399 price you'd pay at Google Play or Best Buy. That deal didn't last long, but other buyers saved $50 on either the 16GB or 32GB model while stock briefly remained available.
Google’s newest Nexus phone went up for sale less than an hour from the time of this post, but has already sold out. It took less than 30 minutes for inventory to run out.
Android has never gotten much respect in the big tablet market. Sure, the Nexus 7 has been surprisingly successful — thanks in no small part to its low cost and good performance. But the stigma around Android tablets is real and not entirely undeserved once you get to the larger sizes. Despite Google's best efforts, many Android apps haven't been optimized for big screens. Apps that are a forgivable sin on a 7-inch tablet become unbearable on a 9-incher.
After watching Apple unapologetically release the gigantic iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung release the fourth iteration of its massive Galaxy Note, getting a 6-inch phone from Google seems almost par for the course. Huge phones are the new normal, but the Nexus 6 somehow manages to feel supersized even by today's surreal standards. The basic stats are already known: a Quad HD screen, a powerful Snapdragon 805 processor, a 13-megapixel camera, and a battery big enough to power it all. But the stats don't tell the real story. The real story is simple: this Motorola-made phone was code-named "Shamu," and it's entirely appropriate. Even in this age of big phones, the Nexus 6 is a whale.