Editorial: Could Google be Planning to Drop the Nexus Line of Smartphones?

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, May 29, 2013.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    Signs within the mobile industry seem to be pointing toward the distinct possibility that Google may abandon their Nexus lineup of smartphones. Here's a quick breakdown of these signs so we can analyze them:
    1. Last year we heard repeated rumors that Google was trying to encourage the various OEMs to all offer Nexus devices.
    2. Google and Samsung announced a new Google Edition pure Android Samsung Galaxy S4 flagship device at Google I/O 2013.
    3. Google did NOT announce a new Nexus phone at Google I/O this 2013.
    4. There have been repeated rumors of a Google Edition pure Android HTC One coming to market very soon.
    5. LG indicated they will not be building a Nexus 5 device, and there has been no indication that anyone else is either.
    Obviously, we can't immediately jump to the conclusion that this means Google will drop the Nexus line. This could mean several things. Perhaps they simply haven't yet decided which OEM to go with for the next Nexus phone. Or, maybe they plan on bringing out a Motorola Nexus device.

    Still, deductive reasoning suggests the possibility is there for Google to begin phasing out the Nexus smartphone. If they can convince the OEMs to produce their own Nexus-style phones, then why would Google even need the Nexus lineup at all? Android has already been jump-started to such a massive degree that it now has 75% of the world mobile market. Perhaps this was Google's plan from the beginning, and they are simply nearing the point in which they phase out the Nexus example. What do you guys think? If true, is this a good thing or a disappointing thing?
     
  2. johnomaz

    johnomaz Silver Member

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    If we can get a mainstream phone from a manufacturer that is a 'Google Edition', I'm cool with that. Nexus is just a name/brand. The AOSP S4 and possible HTC One is amazing. If the trend continues, why compete with itself?
     
  3. kevsgroove

    kevsgroove Active Member

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  4. cobravnm13

    cobravnm13 Senior Member

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    In regards to this editorial, I can see Google phasing out the Nexus line if major manufacturers are releasing pure Android devices like they are with the GS4. IF every manufacturer (Motorola, Samsung, LG, Sony, etc.) has at least one Pure Android phone (being their most popular phone at the time or the most high end phone at the time) this would be plausible. Otherwise, I don't see this as a good move, unless every phone released thereafter had an unlocked (or unlockable) bootloader and is completely developer friendly. Which Google should have put their foot down on that with the carriers. Completely customizable or no Google/Android phones. But that would be a perfect world.

    And in regard to this: the article makes a lot of valid points. But if that's the case, not many people would be able to fully customize their devices running Chrome OS like we do now with Android. And I'm sure, unless my assumption is wrong (after all, he did say that Google would be 100% in control of Chrome OS), that would push a lot of people away. At least in the development community.
     
  5. esmier

    esmier Member

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    ummm, Google didn't announce a Nexus phone last year at I/O either. This is a little too presumptuous
     
  6. kodiak799

    kodiak799 Gold Member

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    I could see the Nexus phone not being a priority or ongoing commitment - the goal was mostly to push hardware and showcase new Android versions. Stands to reason that, at some point, they might phase that out.

    The Chrome OS swap is interesting, but I'm not really buying. About 3 years ago Rubin (I think) did say he expected Android and Chrome to merge at some point, but recently they've been saying that isn't the case. I'm not buying that, either - makes too much sense to merge the two at some point. Google must be eyeing the PC market, and Android is their trojan horse to get there.
     
  7. cereal killer

    cereal killer Administrator
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    First off, Excellent editorial dgstorm! Secondly, I don't think you are too far off base here. Android is a mess and getting worse. Too many handsets, running too many different versions and with carriers failing to update handsets it just compounds the problem. Android has grown too fast and it got away from them (in my opinion.) Fragmentation (ugh I dislike that word) is a real problem.

    If I were Google I'd focus more on ChromeOS and eventually faze out Android.

    With that said, I_think_Samsung see's the writing on the wall and will eventually dump Android in favor on it's very own Tizen and will enter the the market with it's line-up of smartphones and tablets powered by Chrome OS. Pure speculation, but those are my thoughts.
     
  8. kodiak799

    kodiak799 Gold Member

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    The problem with a new/emerging platform is apps. The sheer volume of Android & Apple apps available creates a significant barrier to entry. Sammie may have enough share to attract developers, but still a huge uphill battle. Plus, do they offer two version of the Galaxy series, one with Android and one with Tizen? Huge strategic risk to assume people are flocking to Sammie for the UI as opposed to the hardware for Android.
     
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