Google Will Reportedly Discontinue the Nexus Phone Line In Favor Of the 'Android Silver' Program [RUMORS]

By Alex Wolfe , Updated Apr 30, 2014 01:53 PM EDT
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Google's line of Nexus phones have provided customers a bloat-free version of Android on an affordable, Grade-A handset for five years now, but that might be all about to come to a close.

The Verge reports on an article from The Information, which cites industry sources as saying that Google is looking to make a big push to bring stock Android to a line of premium handsets, codenamed Android Silver. Google is apparently ready to pay a whole lot of money to make this happen.

"The change is both expansive and expensive, as Google is said to be planning to spend heavily on promoting these devices in wireless carriers' stores and through advertising, essentially subsidizing the development and marketing costs for its hardware partners," The Verge reports.

Apparently Motorola and LG are already on board for the program, but Samsung, HTC and Sony weren't as quick to jump on the bandwagon.

"The promise is that the company will clean up third-party bloatware, ensure prompt and reliable software updates, and introduce a real standard and consistency to the user experience across Android Silver devices," The Verge reports. "LG and Motorola are identified as the likeliest candidates for taking part, with the first phones anticipated as soon as next year, while Samsung, HTC, and Sony might need a bit more convincing. Then again, all three of the latter companies have already offered Google Play Editions of their leading phones, which might be the closest analog we have at the moment for what an Android Silver device will look and act like."

It makes sense that those three would be the most likely to resist a program like this, particularly Samsung, whose Galaxy line of phones has gotten so big that the company is thinking of moving to its own Tizen operating system and leaving Android behind. Samsung, also more so than the other two companies, is very much into burying core Android under software customizations with its TouchWiz UI, whereas HTC and Sony have made moves to get closer to, if not right on, the original Android UI with their most recent phones.

At any rate, the death of the Nexus line would be pretty sad to a lot of people that have enjoyed its affordable price tag and top-of-the-line specs. Google I/O is in about two months, so there's a chance that we could hear something then regarding Google's future Android phone plans.

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