Google looks to be dropping the Nexus line of mid-tier smartphones. This isn’t to say that Google is leaving the mobile phone space, however. Reports have hit the web saying that the Nexus devices will be replaces by a higher-end “Silver” line. The Silver phones will continue to cater to those who want a pure, unadulterated Android experience, but with to-tier specs. These same reports are saying that Google is going to spend a pretty penny advertising the devices through carriers’ stores in the US and conceivably the rest of the world.
Reasons behind this are likely marketing-related, but a factor we can’t deny is that less than 20% of Android phones run the latest iteration of the Android Operating system. On top of this, a lot of the top-tier phones by large manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC have thick overlays that hide the simplicity Google is after, necessitating Google Play editions of phones such as the S4 and HTC One. (Does this sound like a Play Edition rebrand to anyone else?) The first phones are likely to be LG and, unsurprisingly, Motorola.
Another interesting thing to watch out for is what will happen to the mid-tier market with the absence of the Nexus devices. Locally, there are a lot of brands that can fill the hole that will be left by the departure of the Nexus phones, but such is not necessarily the case overseas. The recent Philippines entry of players like Oppo and the availability of other Chinese brands might fill the gap nicely, but that will depend largely on how well these “new” brands play their hands.
In any case, it was a fun, though short, ride while it lasted.