First thing’s first — the $10 and $25 denominations spotted last Tuesday are indeed the real deal, and they’re joined by a $50 card that’s better geared toward facilitating bigger purchases like e-books and movies. The one big bummer? They can’t be used toward purchasing hardware from the Google Play Store.
Target, GameStop, and RadioShack are among the retailers who will stock the cards over the coming weeks, with Walmart.com (no mention of their physical locations, weird) expected to join the fray before the end of August.
Frankly, the confirmation doesn’t come a moment too soon. Google has said it aims to sell something like 3 million Nexus 7s by the end of the year, and some outlets are claiming that Google could ultimately move between 6 and 8 million of the wallet-friendly tabs before the year is out. The calculations behind those figures are based on a touch panel shipment figure from Digitimes (whose track record sucks in certain respects) — suffice it to say, I’m not overwhelmed with confidence in these estimates.
Whether or not that particular sales scenario plays out though is beside the point. It’s been mentioned before that Google is selling these things more or less at cost, which means the company is shooting to make up for the deficit in Google Play Store purchases. What better way to drive Google Play revenue than with a rack full of gift cards right next to a tablet display in (insert electronics store here), especially as the holiday season closes in on us?
Now that Google has finally made these things a reality, there’s only one big question remaining: when will they roll out to the rest of the world?