Google's Next-Gen, Unreleased Chromecast Mistakenly Sold To Best Buy Customer
Best Buy isn’t exactly careful when it comes to putting out products or advertisements for new gear before it's time for an official release. Best Buy did this recently when it tossed up advertisements for new GoPro cameras well before the cameras launched. The electronics retailer has now done something similar with a fresh Chromecast device presumably set to launch next week at Google's event. A Redditor user named GroveStreetHomie went into a Best Buy store to pick up a Chromecast device for a new TV. However, the Redditor noticed that the device's packaging was different.
Assuming it was a simple package update, the Chromecast was taken up front to buy. The problem came when the Best Buy associate tried to scan the Chromecast so that the transaction could be completed. However, it wasn't found in the Best Buy system and reportedly had a release date of October 9 -- the same day as the Google event. The cashier simply sold the device under the old SKU, and the buyer took the device home.
On unpacking it was clear this was a new version of the Chromecast. It has a matte black finish rather than the glossy finish of the previous device. No Chrome logo is present; instead there is a subtle "G" that you can barely see in the images of the device. The catch was that the Redditor was unable to set up the Chromecast. A prompt to update to the latest version of the app was given, but the user says that the latest version of the app is what is in use. That means the updated Chromecast will come with an updated app, presumably to support new features.
It would make sense that while Best Buy sold the hardware early, the app from Google won’t roll out until the event kicks off. To add to the mystery, the Chromecast second gen device that rolled through the FCC last month had an FCC ID of A4RNC2-6A5B while the FCC ID on the device the Redditor purchase says NC2-65A; the same ID as the current Chromecast. Speculation is that perhaps this is simply a refresh of the existing Chromecast to make it match visually with the new model expected at the Google event.