Report: Google adopts subscription-based model for Chrome OS devices

Google will reportedly offer Chrome OS devices based on a subscription model in late June or early July.

According to Neowin, the search giant has adopted a rather unconventional form of distribution, as the device will be paired with some form of Gmail subscription.

“Google plans to make the notebooks available for $10-$20 a month per user, and will provide hardware refreshes as they are released as part of the package. [In addition, Mountain View] will replace faulty hardware for the life of the subscription,” the publication explained. 

“On top of this, Google will make the devices available for a one time payment as a normal retailer would, but is likely to not distribute the devices directly. Instead, the company will distribute them in a fashion similar to the way Android is distributed.”

As Peter Cartwright of Netbook News notes, Google’s rumored distribution model could theoretically help Mountain View make its web-centric OS attractive to mainstream consumers.

“We’ve heard rough price estimates [for Chrome hardware] between $250 – $600 which is exactly what standard Windows laptops in the appropriate brackets sell for.

“[Remember], if Google can’t differentiate with hardware or pricing over Windows alternatives then Chrome OS devices [just] aren’t going to take off,” he added.