One of the things that Android and Google both cop flack over is the speed at which updates to the Android OS filter out to both new phones and as updates to older devices. One of the reasons specified previously by OEMs has been the fact that they don’t receive access to the source code for the latest update until Google releases their latest Nexus device which also signals the dump of the latest code to AOSP(Android Open Source Project). To remedy this it appear that Google will be partnering with many OEMs from the OHA(Open Handset Alliance) to offer ‘Nexus’ devices from each.

This appears to be a move by Google to nullify many boisterous complaints from within the industry who claim the purchase of Motorola will see an unfair advantage given to them in the form of early access to source code of the latest iteration of Android, a claim that has been denied by Google who claim a ‘Firewall’ will be built between the two companies to keep them independent.

Another motive for doing this could possibly be the recent addition by Google of a Devices section to the Play Store whereby consumers can purchase a GSM Galaxy Nexus for just $399USD directly from Google. Note that the name of the section is Devices, Plural indicating a future expansion of the section to include either more phones possibly in the Nexus series from multiple manufacturers or my personal hope Tablets, more precisely a Nexus tablet.

A large number of things would have to be worked out by Google with potential Nexus manufacturers such as which CPU would be used, Google has traditionally selected a CPU to be used on the Nexus phone which has then seen optimisations included to make sure that the Nexus runs extremely well on that platform, would we see a manufacturing model similar to the Windows Phone model which sees certain hardware specifications laid out by Google and then OEMs can have at it design wise? I think it would certainly be interesting to see, as this would certainly allow for faster and more consistent updates to be pushed to end users.

All this remains speculation or will do up until we get to Google IO at the end of June where it has been rumoured the Google Nexus Tablet will be announced and now perhaps we’ll see an expansion on the Nexus Phone lineup as well which will see Nexus handsets from the likes of not only Samsung and HTC who’ve already had a nibble at that particular cherry but also from Sony, Motorola, LG, Huawei and more. What do you guys think open Nexus program, good or bad? Which OEMs would you like to see a Nexus handset from?

Source(s): Wall Street Journal, and TheVerge
  • Davi

    I really hope thud is true. imagine there being 4 or 5 pure google phones out each year instead of 1. imagine how awesome a Sony nexus would be!

    • http://ohdenny.com ohdenny

      Agreed, I’d love to see a Sony Nexus. Sony’s stylish phones combined with a pure Android OS, without the bloat of Sony apps would be a winner.

    • Nathan Reed

      Beet me to it on this. Like the direction Sony is heading in with the xperia range, would love to see them running vanilla android.

    • Sagi_jm

      Sony has crap build quality and put out a flagship device that is already dated at release. They have a horrific track record with android in the last 2 years. Its a HTC or a Samsung, or nothing

      • David

         Yes Sony did have a bad track history with the original X10 range but since 2011 they have been putting out some great phones and are updating faster than most other companies. I have a HTC incredible S and bought my girlfriend a Sony Xperia pro and looks like she will betting ICS before me!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Anderton/504726871 David Anderton

         Also disagree with your view on Sony Hardware… Yes they have a bloated skin software but their hardware especially cameras and screens are top notch.

  • http://www.fozziewossie.com Michael Foster

    I only buy nexus phones so would certainly make life more interesting for me. Additionally the extra competition in that space would lower prices i imagine.

    Not sure why handset makers havent been using out of box android already though.

  • Ronaldo Rivera

    Good for Googs if it works out. Bad for other manufacturers selling their own flagship phones running Android. Probably the most popular complaint about Android phones is the fragmentation and inconsistency of the Android experience on different handsets. I’ve had HTC with their Sense UI, Samsung with their TW, and to a lesser extent LG with their own Android flavor. But personally the best Android experience I’ve had is using Stock and AOSP distro of Android. This Nexus OEM expansion strategy will really place Android (the platform) to the forefront of taking down Apple.  Assuming Google will place the air-tight requirement that all Nexus phones released by OEM’s must ship with pure stock Android. Felt stupid saying that cause I’m pretty much stating the obvious. Anyway I think this will definitely address the Android fragmentation stigma and bring a more unified Google experience to the masses. Fingers crossed.

  • Michael

    The Nexus experience seems to have become watered down over the last year.  It seems like depending on which carrier you got your Galaxy Nexus from, you may or may not receive updates directly from Google?  I want to see this clamped down on : the Nexus experience should be equivalent to the Apple experience, where everyone in the world gets the updates as soon as Google releases them.  From there, emulating this experience across as many handsets as possible seems like a good idea.

    • Daniel Tyson

      If Google starts offering access to Devices from the Play Store in Australia this would circumvent the carrier update schedule and rely on Google, this would be running the equivalant of the Yakju build that the international unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus runs. Google has also spoken about launching to other countries when it launched the Galaxy Nexus on the Google Play Store

      • Sagi_jm

        Most people by their phones on a plan from a carrier which is not updated by Google. That is why the nexus line seems watered down…because from then on its the OEM via the carrier who updates the phone. As most people don’t buy outright more phones would only worsen the average persons via of Google and its nexus line with mire different unsupported phones

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Anderton/504726871 David Anderton

           people should then be able to update online direct from google

        • Daniel Tyson

          You can actually flash the YAKJU build to your carrier supplied Galaxy Nexus. It definitely is not an ideal situation but is a way out if you want the latest updates.

          • Sagi_jm

            Yeah I did that thanks to the techies at XDA. A lot of people can read instructions and follow them and go right ahead with flashing things, but it is not until things fall apart that you need some serious help. And when you have multiple top end developer phones, you dilute the pool of people who will help you. This is why I love the nexus as it is now. The community is amazing.

            Case in point – i changed my radio then got the IM761 update on android 4.0.4. I downloaded it without a thought and then BAM error! My phone rebooted to factory recovery. Of course I had no idea what that was at the time, and I was freaking out. An XDA search and a few posts fixed me right up. I’d hate to lose that community…

            furthermore ICS runs like a dream on the nexus because I swear ICS was made for the nexus. There were so many issues with the GS2 updating to ICS. This tells me that not all phones are necessarily optimised for their software. If we have multiple nexi then you will have completely different specs and chips… I doubt you could have the same specced phone just in different casings designed by the different OEMs. I would assume you would lose this optimisation.

            The OEM ultimately determines what flavour of android you get… vanilla is great. But that doesn’t mean that you have to run multiple nexi. There should only be one nexus in my opinion. Or two, if you count the nexus tab :)

      • Michael

        Yeah, in my opinion if you can’t get your update directly from Google on the day it is released then it isn’t a nexus device anymore. Apple manages to achieve this regardless of whether the phone was on a plan from a carrier or not. Google should be able to manage the same.

        • Jeff Smith

          I guess Google has trouble using Apple’s strong arm tactics due to it’s market share being split between umpteen manufacturers. I’m sure there’s a way they could get around this bt not without backlash from wither users or carriers/manufacturers.

  • Sagi_jm

    No no no! Nexus is amazing because there is only one phone. I am running yakju now because of amazing developers on xda forums. These tech geniuses live their nexus. If we have multiple devices… we split the pool of developers. That’s fine if you want a run of the mill Android…but don’t kill the nexus line. Sometimes a little less choice can be a good thing. I don’t want a bllody huawei or Sony nexus with shite build quality thanks

  • Jeff Smith

    AWESOME!!!!

  • Milty C

    I think this new plan will work well if the OEM’s are smart about it.

    Each OEM each year should build 2 phones side by side – one nexus phone for people who buy outright and one skinned phone (ie touch wizz) for people who want a phone on a plan.

    This would keep carriers,customers, and everyone happy and be very simply and easy for the OEM’s to manage