Google is making it known it is seizing back control over the Nexus smartphone program. Apparently, the aim is to establish a tight control over the full extent of the smartphone development process, right from the conceptual stage to the actual execution. This would be akin to what Apple does with its iPhone.
What this could boil down to is that Google will be calling all the shots with the Nexus devices with manufacturing partners reduced to just being component suppliers. This would be much like the manner in which Google is implementing its Pixel C project that includes components sourced from various suppliers. In the past, Google has partnered with HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Huawei and LG to manufacture the various iterations of Nexus phones since its inception in 2009.
Google has also stated they intend to work closely with the carriers as well to ensure the future Nexus phones have a better standing against flagship devices from companies like Samsung and LG. As of now, the Nexus phones are not available via the carriers or retailers, which instantly limit its prospects among a sizeable chunk of buyers. Also, another advantage of carrier availability is the discount they offer upfront in lieu of agreeing to a particular data plan for a fixed period of time.
While things might remain the same from a buyer’s perspective, HTC could find itself on a slippery tract post the announcement. The Taiwanese company is reported to be in talks with Google to be the manufacturing partner for the next Nexus smartphone. Google is yet to commit to a timeline for the execution of their new Nexus strategy, which means there still could be one last Nexus smartphone developed in the manner it has been doing so far in collaboration with HTC.
Google had started with the Nexus program to come up with hardware that would serve to be the showpiece of its Android OS while still being easy on the pocket. Over time, we have had seven iterations of the Nexus phone – Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X and the latest Nexus 6P.