Android

Google will continue the Nexus line in addition to “Nexus Experience” devices

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With the advent of new “Nexus Experience” versions of top Android smartphones from multiple manufacturers, such as the Galaxy S4 Google Edition and HTC One Google Edition, questions have come up about the future of Google’s other Nexus line of devices. Not only do the “Nexus Experience” devices seem to be part of a new strategy for the company, but also no new Nexus devices were released or talked about at I/O, making it seem as if the line might be dying out.

However, Nexus fans can rest assured, as Sundar Pichai (the man in charge of Android) has reassured us that Google is not done with the Nexus line of phones. Instead, he says that the point of Google’s own line of devices is to allow Google to “push on hardware as well,” instead of just showcasing stock Android on other manufacturer’s top hardware. In the short term, that means that perhaps we can expect a new Nexus 7 to be released sometime this year, and perhaps even a new Nexus 4 or 5 by Christmas.

Still, this does raise some questions about Google’s future strategy. At first, Nexus was essentially top manufacturer devices, with a few small tweaks and stock Android. (Think the HTC Desire and the Nexus One, or the Galaxy Nexus and the SII.) Lately, though, Nexus devices have gotten a little more adventurous hardware-wise, have more tweaks and added features from Google, and have been less like the counterparts from the manufacturer.

Still, with the acquisition of Motorola and the prospect of the Moto X, it seems that Google’s hardware focus will be with Motorola’s new devices. With “Nexus Experience” smartphones from other manufacturers serving to provide more average consumers with stock Android, how will the Nexus line differentiate? Extreme hardware is taken care of with the Moto X, and the “Nexus Experience” devices showcase the software just fine.

There’s no way to know what the future is for Nexus devices, but I personally hope that Google uses the product line to get more quality Android devices into the hands of consumers. The Nexus 7 is still a fairly good deal compared to other tablets, and the Nexus 4 is a great deal for a smartphone even though the hardware may not be cutting edge. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google focus on quality, low-cost devices in the Nexus line, and that makes perfect sense to me.

[The Verge]
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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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7 thoughts on “Google will continue the Nexus line in addition to “Nexus Experience” devices

  • The Nexus price point with no contract is a good way to differentiate itself. :) Hooray android users, we’re starting to get what we want!

    Reply
    • Exactly what I was thinking. Stick to around $300 – or even go cheaper the next time – and the Nexus line is bound to succeed.

      Reply
      • Exactly! I’ll definitely keep my eyes open to the x phone and stock android versions of various devices, but the nexus just offers so much!

        Reply
  • I am not certain I would agree that “more average” customers are likely to buy Nexus Experience devices at $650 a pop. I believe that the Nexus devices are still first and foremost a developer device. What I would expect to see in them are a continuation of the Nexus 4 approach forward…a processor bump and a low-end SKU with limited storage space (devs only need to test an app or two at a time). The Nexus phones need to be at a price point that is nearer to the $200 on-contract pricing model than feeling like it is closer to a $1000 price point [like the Google Edition phones], since devs might feel the need to upgrade to the new Nexus every year. That line could then double as a low-cost / contract free version for enthusiasts and other consumers. I think the manufacturers are only interested in providing Nexus Experience devices because the pricing is agreed to, and it is so far above other on-contract prices that they will not compete as viable alternatives to an on-contract device of the same product-line from a carrier. They are there so that the bigger devs and higher-end tech enthusiasts can finally buy high-end hardware with stock android, and so the mod community can more easily churn out ROMs for these product lines.

    Maybe. These are just my thoughts and are in now way meant to sound like they are the definitive, correct analysis. Thanks.
    – Vr/Agasicles S.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Aaron Orquia

      I certainly see your point, I suppose I looked at it from the perspective of someone who always buys phones off contract. For the truly average consumer, the Google Experience devices will be hard to swallow. However, developers could probably use the cheaper Nexus devices just as easily, since they will have the newest version of Android. I do agree that Nexus phones should be cheap as I said, and the low cost version for enthusiasts/developers/consumers makes sense. But then that means that the Google Edition devices have a very small market, which I suppose is supported by HTC’s supposedly limited run of Google Edition Ones.

      Reply
  • Avatar of Salmanazar

    I think when it comes to hardware, Google and strategy are mutually exclusive. They seem to be largely throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. When stuff does stick, like the Nexus 4 & 7, they then proceed to confuse their customers by not refreshing their product lines in a timely fashion, and throwing out other competing hardware.

    I wonder if Google even knows what Google will be doing.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Aaron Orquia

      That could certainly be the case too, Google tends to act a bit discombobulated at times. Perhaps they are just trying to see what works, and will kill off what doesn’t.

      Reply

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