Google fired back at Apple on Tuesday with a pair of new smartphones, a “convertible” tablet and other gadgetry ahead of the year-end holiday shopping season.
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The California tech giant unveiled two new Nexus smartphones with enhanced features including fingerprint sensors and improved cameras aimed at the high end of the market dominated by Apple and Samsung.
Google said it was partnering with South Korea s LG for its 5.2-inch screen Nexus 5X, and with China s Huawei for its “phablet” sized 5.7-inch Nexus 6P. Both handsets will be sold unlocked, with Google hoping to capitalize on a trend in the US and other markets away from smartphone subsidies as part of long-term contracts. “We care about making sure there are affordable, high quality smartphones for users around the world,” said Sundar Pichai, the Google product chief who is slated to head the company s largest unit under a reorganization announced earlier this year.
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The phones, which aim to showcase the Google Android operating system, were available for ordering in the United States, Britain, Japan and Ireland, with more countries to be added next week, Google said as it unveiled the phones at a San Francisco media event. The Nexus 5X starts at $379 for US customers and the 6P starts at $499.