Last month we heard that Google was all out of Cr-48 models for beta testing, but that “partner devices” would be available later this year. And if Neowin’s “reliable source” is correct, Google will indeed begin selling its notebook in late June or early July.
But of course, it won’t be a cake walk to get your hands on the elusive Cr-48. According to the insider, Google is planning on implementing “an unconventional form of distribution to customers.” They will be available via a subscription that Gmail users are privy to. It seems that Google is trying to keep some air of exclusivity around the Cr-48 and users who pay the premier account rate will get the first go at it. It will then eventually trickle down to general Gmailers. In an even stranger move, in addition to buying a Cr-48 up front, Google will reportedly have some sort of lease, or rental option on the units, pricing them at $10-$20 a month.
The notebook will receive updates in a similar fashion to the Android OS, and Google will also include hardware upgrades with the subscription fee. How exactly all of this will actually play out remains to be seen, and it sounds like a complicated system for a notebook. That said, we still really want to get our hands on one.