In Short

Android Silver was the name of a rumored line of high-end, "stock" Android smartphones from Google said to be launching in early 2015. Devices under this brand have thus far failed to appear, with multiple sources (including our own) suggesting the "Silver" project has been mothballed due to lack of interest from OEMs.

The first reports pointed to a new range of Google Play edition-like smartphones, with hardware from leading manufacturers and a Google-controlled software experiences. Silver handsets would reportedly be promoted through partnerships with carriers including T-Mobile and Sprint in the U.S., with a considerable in-store presence for the devices. This range of devices was supposedly a way for Google to combat the dominant Samsung in the high-end Android space.

Early reports suggested that the Nexus line would end in 2014, to be replaced with Silver the following year. However at Google I/O 2014 Android Engineering Director Dave Burke poured cold water on that theory. In an interview, Burke stopped short of explicitly confirming Android Silver, but said that any such program wouldn't mean there'd be no more Nexus devices.

Though Android Silver will likely never see the light of day, the project would have slotted neatly into Google's new strategy of directly controlling the software experience on more and more Android devices. Just as Android Wear and Android One devices run stock Google experience software with updates directly from the Android team, Android Silver might've brought this approach to the high-end device market.

But alas, it was not to be. For the immediate future, it appears Google's strategy of selling a handful of Nexus devices directly to consumers is here to stay.