Google may be making widespread changes to Nexus program

January 27, 2014

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Blogger Edgar Murtazin said in a tweet that Google is potentially changing course on their Nexus platform, and discontinuing it in favor of the Google Play Edition devices. Though not saying where he got his information from, his track record is hit and miss when it comes to information like this. Recent developments, however, could hint that he’s right this time.

The development of the Google Play Edition program has come along quickly. In asking that various manufacturers offer devices with stock or nearly stock Android, Google has taken the heat — and attention — off themselves. We also get the variety we want, in both hardware and software. The program leaves Google to support OEMs with Android without having to worry about supporting hardware of their own, a lesson perhaps learned from the Galaxy Nexus/KitKat debacle.

We also haven’t seen a new Nexus 10 tablet, though we’ve continually heard news of its existence. We can pontificate all day that what we’re seeing via various reports really is the Nexus 10, but there is no new Nexus 10 on the Play Store website. The Nexus 7 continues to sell famously, but would you really care if it were the “Google Play Edition Asus Tab” rather than a Nexus 7?

Though a popular option with Android fans, it did feel like Google was limping home a bit when they announced the Nexus 5 late last year. It lacked the fanfare of previous models, which was actually refreshing, but could it mean that Google has grown disinterested in Nexus? According to Murtazin, the program will screech to a halt in 2015, so if we never see a Nexus 7 smartphone, we’ll know he was right.

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  • Zachary Morris

    I feel like the Nexus line offers a bit more than the GPe devices because Nexus phones (minus my Toro…) get direct updates, while GPe always seem to be a bit behind. If there were no Nexus phones, I could see this lag getting worse.

    Nexus is also always the cutting edge in hardware, whereas GPe could be based off anything.

    That being said, I do think there are some excellent opportunities for GPe phones. Imagine how cool G-Flex GPe would be.

  • Chris Caldwell

    1. This was not only suggested, but avidly insisted as fact following the Nexus 4 launch. Lots of sources, lots of very specific reasons why there were never be any further nexus devices, yet I own a Nexus 5….
    2. lost all credibility with the “nexus 7 smartphone” comment. Either way there wont be a Nexus 7 phone. There will only be a Nexus 6 phone if they make the screen an inch larger, which is highly unlikely. I dont think you are aware of the tech you are discussing.

    • If they follow the naming structure of the 4 and 5, there would be a Nexus 7 smartphone.
      The Nexus 4 had a screen size larger than 4-inches, so screen size doesn’t correlate to naming.

  • Johnny Kirpalani

    I hope this is all BS. My soul would shed a tear for sure if this is confirmed to be true.

    • I hope so, too. I really enjoy Nexus devices, but GPE phones aren’t bad. I wasn’t crazy about the GPE LG G Pad, but if there were more options, I don’t think it would matter much. If the Nexus 7 stuck around, I’d be happy with that.

  • [A]dri[A]n

    I would be fine with only GPE phones. The only real difference is the update time. The GPE phones get updates fast enough to keep people happy, I think Haha I mean, it’s basically what people want, a phone free of the carriers, pretty quick updates and maybe some added features while still sticking to the vanilla Android form.

  • Mike A

    its all about price, i wouldnt like to pay the 600+ for a GPE device so if google uses motorolla to make some great high powered devices similar to the nexus brand I wouldn’t care esp since motorolla has really stepped up their game lately.

  • Qpa

    Yes I would care if they stop the Nexus line. The only reason why i buy the Nexus phones since the Galaxy Nexus is the top hardware for the best price you can get. Personally I don’t care if they get the fastest update, I will achieve the same on a htc one or any other phone because of custom roms which I will always use.

    If Google can’t keep up with the price on the GPE Phones why i should buy them? I can flash the same Software on the normal phone. And Google can’t keep up with the price because why anyone should buy then the normal S4 (e.g)?

  • emjay

    updating google apps.settings

  • Anonne

    Maybe this frees up Motorola to make tablets and basically be the Nexus by stealth. But it also allows us to get hardware from Samsung, with whom Google just inked a 10 year cross-licensing deal. That might not be such a bad thing, considering how spotty the Bluetooth is with Asus devices.

  • Tommy

    First of all, if there were no nexus devices then the gpe devices would be the first to receive the other updates. The only reason they lagged behind in the last update, was so Google could use the “our devices update first” sales ploy. I for one think they shouldn’t make a nexus device, for that exact reason. I think every device should be made with the option to use gpe, or the manufacturer’s overlay, on setup. That way, they could keep all the vanilla whiners happy, and the rest of us can enjoy our touchwiz or sense in peace, without whiny babies rushing them to push a buggy update, so they can have the next .4 on their user profile on the 28 forums they’re a member of. 😛

    • T.J.

      Even with the Nexus program, Samsung isn’t rushing to push their update. They’re still on 4.3 after all.