The rumours have been swirling for the past few months that Google’s next line of Android devices would eschew the Nexus moniker in favour of new branding to coincide with their new efforts to marry a Google software with Google hardware. According to information confirmed to Android Central, this is actually happening, at least for mobile devices.
We’ve been dancing around the name for the new Google Android phones for a few months now, with conflicting rumours swirling around and even Sundar Pichai weighing in on “Google Hardware” replacing the Nexus line. If the infamous ‘sources’ familiar with the matter are indeed correct, it seems Sundar was clever with his words, as the next two Google phones are being built by HTC and thus the Nexus “program” technically hasn’t gone anywhere.
We still have no clear idea of what any potential new branding will be, will it simply be the Google Phone? Will Google introduce a new brand to the market? The other unclear element is if the Nexus line will continue to exist for other products? We thought we’d take a quick look back over the Nexus phone’s visual history, all they way back from the original Nexus One up to the rumoured device that may just end the line.
The other element of this story is the software. We’ve heard rumours and seen hints that Google will for the first time be differentiating the software on their devices outside of the exclusive Google apps, things like the dialer and contacts. Google’s Android devices will no longer just be “stock”, they will be shipping with software and perhaps features exclusive to their devices.
These moves place Google in direct competition with their OEM partners by both removing the co-branding and offering an enhanced experience that won’t be included in AOSP. Considering the problems Google has had with getting OEMs to release both OS updates and more importantly security patches this could be a commercial move to put pressure on Android OEMs to now compete with Google hardware on all elements of the Android ecosystem.
We are rapidly approaching the expected timeframes for a Google hardware event, typically held in late September, where all will be revealed. If the rumours hold true we should see both new Google phones as well as a couple of Google Android Wear devices showcased. As for other hardware, including the Google Home device, we will just have to wait and see.
How do you feel about the Nexus brand dropping off? Let us know below.