At their big I/O conference, among other things, Google announced the Nexus Q, a new streaming box. It’s a bizarre looking little ball with a variety of cords that stream from its rear, designed to be not only a competitor to Boxee, Roku, and Apple TV, but also a handy device that allows your Android phone to interface with your TV/home theater setup. The biggest difference to most people, aside from the ecosystem, is that they’re being made in the United States and there’s a premium price that comes with that.
There’s been some contention that, with America’s still-high unemployment and lack of industrial capability, companies like Apple, HP, and Dell should return many of their Chinese outsourced jobs to the United States. China, those companies claim, not only makes products cheaper and margins thicker (especially when products may not have much margin to begin with), but the region can also re-tool their production lines far quicker than Americans can. Thus, the few sophisticated products that are still manufactured entirely in America are going to have a premium assigned to them because of our current industrial situation.
Well, with the Nexus Q, Google is offering the public a way to vote with its dollars in favor of American production. This isn’t to say that the success of the Nexus Q will change Tim Cook’s mind on where iPhones are assembled (or where most any smartphone is produced), but it’s a great way to start a conversation on overseas labor.