If true, this may be sad for many, but according to @eldarmurtazin on Twitter, Google will be killing off the Nexus line by next year in favor of Google Play Edition devices.
The Nexus program has been around since January 2010 when the HTC Nexus One was announced. All Nexus devices have been pure Google Android, with no custom skin on top of them. Highlights of the Nexus program have been that the devices have “usually” been unlocked, were “usually” sold directly by Google and have been the first to receive software updates.
While it may seem this is the natural progression, killing off the Nexus line once phones started shipping with stock firmware, in my opinion, I don’t think that Google is ready to kill it just yet.
One thing that people have praised the Nexus program for is that it has offered the choice of an off-contract at a reasonable price. Besides the Moto G, which isn’t in the same class as the Nexus 5, there is no GPE device that is that inexpensive. The HTC One is $599 from the Play Store and the Samsung Galaxy S4 is even more expensive at $649. Besides the only GPE tablet, LG‘s G Pad 8.3, and the Moto G, there are no reasonably priced GPE devices.
Devices like the Moto X have proved that selling a cheaper device is possible, but who knows if Samsung, Sony and HTC will ever release a high-end GPE device that is also relatively inexpensive.
With comments from Android director of engineering Dave Burke (from the August 2013 article from The Verge) that states they’re “halo” devices meant to educate the rest of the ecosystem, I’m not sure I believe the death of the program.
“Basically what Nexus allows us to do is set the standard … [we can] demonstrate how Android runs and hopefully influence other device manufacturers to take what we’ve done and do even better,” he said in that interview.
There was also another reason for its existence, that Google needs hardware on which it can develop Android and Burke said “as an engineering team creating a mobile platform — we can’t do that in the abstract. We need to do it on a real device that we’re carrying with us.”
Well, anything is possible, but only time will tell if Google is putting an end to the Nexus. That being said… where’s that new Nexus 10?