If you're anything like me, than you were somewhat disappointed in the Galaxy Nexus, and hoping that Google would move on to another company for 2012's iteration of the developer device. So news that Samsung would again be making a Google-branded smartphone, and perhaps even a tablet, weren't at all encouraging. There's good news out of the Wall Street Journal, though: Google may be working with multiple hardware partners for the next version of Android, and presumably, the next round of developer devices.
This would mean that more device manufacturers can produce a new phone or tablet for release as soon as Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" (or whatever the name and number turn out to be) soon after the new OS is officially announced. This might actually diminish the Nexus program, since there wouldn't be a single target device at the launch of the new OS. But if Google intends to share its OS early, we can hope that it insists the first device is "pure" Android, as has been the case for all the Nexus phones and the XOOM.
Not to toot my own horn here, but I called for something similar in the fall of last year. While this isn't a "Nexus Certification Program", it is an expansion of developer-class devices and a concerted effort of Google's part to get more pure Android phones and tablets into consumers' hands. Granted, all of this is rumor at this point, but the Wall Street Journal has been accurate on Google-focused predictions before. Cross your fingers, folks.