Nexus 6-six 2
According to a recent report from Gizmodo Germany a so-called ‘business-related source’ said during Mobile World Congress that Google has once-again tapped LG to make the next Nexus phone, referring to the the currently-unannounced device as “Nexus 6”.

While the name fits the current Nexus naming convention (recent years have brought us the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5), naming a phone “Nexus 6” actually presents a legal problem for Google.

Do Androids dream of legal briefs?

When the original Nexus One launched, a challenge to the name was raised by the daughter and executor of the estate of author Philip K. Dick, who wrote the story ”Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”.

If you haven’t heard of the story, you might know it under a different name – it was adapted for the screen by Ridley Scott and became the movie Blade Runner.

In the story, one of the main concepts centres around a group of replicants (androids) with the model designation “Nexus 6”. The claim was never lodged in court.

Legal people I have spoken to have said it’s an interesting issue, but not clear cut either way. What they did agree upon was that Google might forgo the name “Nexus 6”, purely to side-step any possibility of litigation.

The All New Nexus One

If Google was to abandon its current naming convention, where would they go?

There’s been plenty of devices with the name “One” on the market in the last couple of years, too. Google might choose to start fresh with an “all new” Nexus One designation. The sky’s the limit when you start going to non-sequential, non-numeric naming conventions.

The company might still have some options available to keep their current naming convention, such as naming the phone “Nexus Six”. Spelt out, it might skirt around the established name from the book/film, although it seems likely this might still raise the ire of the author’s estate.

One of these options might stem from the name of LG’s premium line, the G-Series. When Samsung built Nexus phones, they used their own models as the basis for the Nexus names and brought us the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus. Leaning on LG’s naming convention leads to the possibility of a “Nexus G”. A capitalised G sort of looks like a 6. Maybe that’s close enough.

The Nerd vote

All of these ideas have merit, but it may be even simpler. Google is well known as doing the ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’ thing purely to play to their core market. Last year they went to extremes to ensure their dessert themed K update was tied to a marketable brand and ran a fairly successful competition based on this.

With this history in mind, they might also choose to do the “right” thing – it’s well within the realms of possibility that the company could reach a settlement with the estate of Philip K. Dick prior to the announcement, ensuring a smooth launch of the phone.

What’s in a name?

At the end of the day the important thing about the Nexus line is that it represents Google’s aspiration of an ideal Android smartphone. What it’s called is the least of anyone’s concerns (unless you work for Google’s marketing department).

As a longtime Nexus owner, I’ll probably buy it no matter what it’s called. Actually, an iNexus might make me hesitate.

Maybe if Google settles with Philip K. Dick’s estate, we might even see an extremely limited run of Rick Deckard ”Blade Runner” themed Nexus 6 Phones… I’d buy that in a heartbeat, and I’m sure thousands of others would too.

If the next Nexus phone can’t be named “Nexus 6”, what name would you like to see? Let us know in the comments!

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    LG has been good to the Nexus program.
    Let ’em have the “Nexus G”.


    They could name it Nexus 5s and release a cheaper plastic version and name it 5c

    Andie Tang

    I’m suspecting Nexus 5 (2014) Edition. Why? the numbers usually corresponds with the screen size used for the device and I don’t see Google releasing a phablet.


    Good, someone actually realises what convention Google’s been going with lately…

    Adam Sacco

    Thank goodness somebody said this. This is the current naming convention and there’s no reason to change it.


    That is only true for the Nexus tablets. If the Nexus phone names are based on screen size how do you explain the Nexus 4. It doesn’t have a 4″ screen. It has a 4.7″ screen which is actually much closer to 5″ than it is to 4″ so if any rounding was done it would have been rounding up to 5″ in which case the Nexus 4 would have been called the Nexus 5. Do you really think it is just an accident that the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 also happen to be the 4th and 5th Nexus… Read more »



    Type 40

    100% agree: why is this always raised as a debate? The Nexus devices are (now) named according their screen sizes! Even Google refers to the second-gen Nexus 7 as the Nexus 7.2. Assuming the next phone has a 5″ screen, it should be the Nexus 5.2…


    I really, really wish they would call it the “2014 Nexus Phone” … chances of that are probably 0.0001% though!




    Maybe it will be the Nexus 110 – Sounds impressive and to some it’s still 6

    Daniel Tyson

    I see what you did there.

    Type 40

    Good one! How does the old joke go? “There are 10 types of people who understand binary; those who do, and those who don’t.”