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Rumor: Google to kill off Nexus program in favor of GPE

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#1 +techbeck

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 18:43

An interesting (and, depending on who you are, disturbing) rumor seems to have crossed the wire this morning. Leakster extraordinaire Eldar Murtazin supposedly has it on good authority that Google is looking to kill off the Nexus program at some point next year. The downfall of Nexus would make way for Google Play Edition devices, which are stock Android versions of existing consumer devices which get software upgrades directly from Google.

google-nexus-logo1.jpg

We’re obviously going to be taking this rumor with a large grain of salt, but it’d be interesting to see if Google really does plan on going this route. Nexus devices have become more symbolic than anything else, giving Android enthusiasts and developers an inexpensive, yet highly capable option for use and development. There are three things the Nexus program is still known for:

 

  • Fast updates
  • Stock firmware with no bloatware
  • Cheap price

All of that hasn’t exactly translated well to Google Play Edition devices. More often than not, these devices get upgrades to Android later than their Nexus counterparts, and cost just as much as if you were to buy the handset off-contract straight from carriers and retailers. They still do offer stock firmware with no bloatware, though, so there’s that.

 

It’s said Google would favor this route as they don’t want to eventually run into a situation where they’re chastised for favoring one group of devices over another. Giving everyone a chance to make Google Play Edition devices would definitely solve that issue, though consumers probably won’t be too happy with what would effectively be see as the death of Android’s most iconic series of devices.

 

We’re not throwing all our eggs into Murtazin’s basket, though, so don’t get too worked up about this rumor just yet. If anything, just remember that we still have at least a great couple of years to go before we’d see anything like this go down.

 

http://phandroid.com...-edition-rumor/




#2 Praetor

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 18:49

this rumor doesn't make any sense, why would Google kill a well know brand the means cheap, very powerfull, fast updated, bloatware free phones? In favor of GPE which are just as much expensive as the carrier model?



#3 adrynalyne

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 18:53

The rumor's source has a track record of being wrong. Besides, the original intent of the Nexus program was to provide a reference device for developers. There is demand for that still and GPE won't meet those needs. I use my Nexus 7 for building android apps all the time.  Actually, its the only thing I use it for, LOL.



#4 yakumo

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 19:08

They can't do this until after they've released a Nexus 6!



#5 HawkMan

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 19:26

this rumor doesn't make any sense, why would Google kill a well know brand the means cheap, very powerfull, fast updated, bloatware free phones? In favor of GPE which are just as much expensive as the carrier model?

 

Actually it makes a lot of sense. especially since Nexus is only known and care about by a small niche of users, who would be just as well served by the GPE devices if they can get them right.

 

Nexus as it is today makes little sense for google, especially with Motorola in their hands, it's just an added expense. 

 

Normally I wouldn't trust Murtazin if he claimed that tomorrow he would drink something. But here he's merely predicting the obvious. which is the only times he get it right, that or when he predicts it after it's actually happened. As such, he's much like Pachter, except he usually gets it wrong anyway. 


The rumor's source has a track record of being wrong. Besides, the original intent of the Nexus program was to provide a reference device for developers. There is demand for that still and GPE won't meet those needs. I use my Nexus 7 for building android apps all the time.  Actually, its the only thing I use it for, LOL.

 

How can it be a reference devices when it's a "randomly" selected OEM that makes the device and more often than not, it's just a de-branded version of a handset they where already making. 

 

If you want to see how you do reference devices right, look at Microsoft Surface. 



#6 Praetor

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 19:31

yeah but GPE phones aren't as cheap as Nexus, nor get fast updates as well; if those two issues get fixed then yeah, the Nexus brand could fall. Also there is/was a litigation because of the name Nexus, don't know if it's closed or not but that can be a major issue as well.



#7 adrynalyne

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 19:38

 

 

How can it be a reference devices when it's a "randomly" selected OEM that makes the device and more often than not, it's just a de-branded version of a handset they where already making. 

 

If you want to see how you do reference devices right, look at Microsoft Surface. 

Reference software, heh.  I thought that would be abundantly clear.  This last year with the Nexus 5 is the first time they have put in Nexus 5 only features, but that still doesn't add up to a GPE only future.

 

Either way, Google provides proprietary binaries for Nexus devices so that you can actually run AOSP. 

 

Also, Google doesn't randomly choose an OEM, and top of that, they dictate what goes into that device, designed for their latest version of Android.  How is that NOT a reference device?



#8 adrynalyne

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 19:41

yeah but GPE phones aren't as cheap as Nexus, nor get fast updates as well; if those two issues get fixed then yeah, the Nexus brand could fall. Also there is/was a litigation because of the name Nexus, don't know if it's closed or not but that can be a major issue as well.

The updates also don't come from Google, they often do not have factory images available, no closed source binaries are provided...



#9 +ChuckFinley

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 19:45

Just got my Nexus 7 and I LOVE IT!! 



#10 HawkMan

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:59

Reference software, heh.  I thought that would be abundantly clear.  This last year with the Nexus 5 is the first time they have put in Nexus 5 only features, but that still doesn't add up to a GPE only future.

 

Either way, Google provides proprietary binaries for Nexus devices so that you can actually run AOSP. 

 

Also, Google doesn't randomly choose an OEM, and top of that, they dictate what goes into that device, designed for their latest version of Android.  How is that NOT a reference device?

 

Hence why randomly was in quotes, it's chosen by who bids lowest, don't be fooled and think there's any there's any other part to the equation, this can actually be fairly random. 

 

google has some say on the hardware, but it's mostly "it needs at least this cpu and memory and so and so feature". and then the OEM goes "that lines up perfectly with the device we're currently making to sell as our own, we'll change some of the shell on it, and rebrand it nexus and sell that as the nexus". 

 

a reference device is supposed to be quality wise above and beyond the competition, to show them what can and should be done. that's not Nexus, which has mediocre build quality an mediocre at best camera. At least their tablets have had pretty good screens but they have also been marketed and sold a lot more as actual reference devices than then phones. 



#11 joep1984

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:11

Aren't they the same exact thing, though?



#12 adrynalyne

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 14:42

Hence why randomly was in quotes, it's chosen by who bids lowest, don't be fooled and think there's any there's any other part to the equation, this can actually be fairly random. 

 

google has some say on the hardware, but it's mostly "it needs at least this cpu and memory and so and so feature". and then the OEM goes "that lines up perfectly with the device we're currently making to sell as our own, we'll change some of the shell on it, and rebrand it nexus and sell that as the nexus". 

 

a reference device is supposed to be quality wise above and beyond the competition, to show them what can and should be done. that's not Nexus, which has mediocre build quality an mediocre at best camera. At least their tablets have had pretty good screens but they have also been marketed and sold a lot more as actual reference devices than then phones. 

 

First, I know it is the lowest bidder and never said otherwise.

 

 

Second, a reference device has never been about quality above the competition and how a company envisions for their product to be used.  It is a minimum standard that a company wants others to strive for.

 

Nothing you have said here is relevant to the conversation anyway.  Microsoft has nothing to do with this (which for some reason you are comparing this to), so please leave your agenda at the door, thanks :)


Aren't they the same exact thing, though?

No.

 

GPE devices are updated by OEMs, not Google so they end up with slower updates by up to a month vs. Nexus devices.

GPE devices still have some base line modifications from the OEM.

GPE devices do not have factory images.

GPE devices do not always have unlockable bootloaders (I don't think the Sony one does).

GPE devices are not provided proprietary binaries needed to run AOSP.



#13 Mandosis

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 14:44

This is never going to happen. If anything Motorola might start making them as google owns them and they can then create the hardware and software themselves. It might not named under the Nexus brand but it would still be what a nexus phone is.



#14 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 14:59

I do not see the nexus line going away however, i do expect the GPE program getting larger. especially as more and more people realize that carriers and manufacturers are making their devices run much slower with their bloat when running stock android gives a huge performance bump not to mention faster updates to the latest version of Android.



#15 ichi

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 16:17

Actually it makes a lot of sense. especially since Nexus is only known and care about by a small niche of users, who would be just as well served by the GPE devices if they can get them right.

 

 

While they aren't top sellers I'm not that sure about a high end device at half the price of similar spec'ed models drawing the attention of only a "small niche of users".

 

Then again if we were talking about GPE devices going down to the Nexus price point then you would certainly be right, but that doesn't seem to be happening any time soon.