How, exactly, would a 'Google phone' fix what Nexus hasn't broken?

At least once a year or so we get rumors about Google "building its own smartphone." That is, one not named Nexus, and presumably one without any sort of branding (and marketing support) from the usual manufacturing suspects.

The Information, citing "people who work at Google," raised the mostly toothless idea back in November 2015 (opens in new tab). "There is debate and discussion about the topic right now—as there is with myriad ideas at [Alphabet] ... But the fact the issue is on the table at all is noteworthy and shows how Google's Android strategy remains in flux."

Today, we've got another anonymously sourced pieced with the same sort of cliche headline and opening paragraph we typically see on this sort of thing.

From The Telegraph, under "Google to step up smartphone wars with release of own handset":

Google is planning a shake-up of the smartphone market by releasing its own handset, a move that would tighten its grip on mobile software and see it compete directly with the iPhone.

Let's be perfectly clear here — companies are always discussing doing all sorts of things. Some come to fruition. Others don't. If Google never discussed making an unbranded phone without the visible help of an established hardware partner, the folks running that end of things wouldn't be doing their jobs. It's not a very difficult proposition to come up with.

Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X

The Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X are as Google as it gets already.

And The Telegraph ticks all the boxes of a piece trying to make a meal out of something while there's barely any meat on the bone. "Shake-up of the smartphone market?" "Tighten its grip on mobile software?" "Compete directly with the iPhone?"

I don't know what the hell any of that means. The last phone to shake up the smartphone market was the iPhone. It's going to take something truly revolutionary to do it again. And Google simply "making its own phone" likely isn't it.

And how, pray tell, would an unbranded Google phone tighten Google's grip on open-sourced software? Nexus devices (and the Pixel C tablet) are direct targets of Google and the Android Open Source Project. (The software that Google actually ships with those phones is a little different, however, contains code different than what you or I could build for the Nexus phones. Welcome to open-source software.)

And "compete directly with the iPhone?" As opposed to what?

If Google really wants to 'control' Android, it needs to sell more of its phones. Not just give them a different brand.

None of that is to say that Google couldn't do it. Or that it won't. (Though it's our understanding that the Nexus program isn't going anywhere for a couple more years, at least.) But Google "building its own phone" would almost certainly still mean that it contracts with someone like Foxconn (or whitelabels a device from, say, Huawei or LG or HTC) to actually build the thing, as just about any other phone company does. And building a phone is a good bit different from building a tablet.

Nothing in The Telegraph piece gets anywhere close to addressing how a Google-branded phone would be anything beyond an exercise in rebranding. And there's absolutely no proof that simply switching from "Nexus" to "Google" would do anything to steal away marketshare from Samsung, which maintains a huge lead over pretty much everyone.

And Google's own Nexus phones already lead the way on software updates. That's (sadly) telling when some eight months after both the release of Android 6.x Marshmallow and the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, a mere 10% of all current devices (and that's including updated devices as as well as a handful of older Nexus phones) are on the most recent software. There simply aren't that many Nexus phones in the world when you take that sort of context into account. Is a rebranding really going to move that needle any more than a Nexus phone already doesn't move it?

Maybe Google's making some sort of non-Nexus smartphone. Maybe it's not. For sure it's been talked about at some point. And maybe it's all a behind-the-scenes thing, that it'd just be easier to not work with an established manufacturer that has its own hangups and ideas about how to do things.

But you can bet every last byte that if Google does "build its own phone" instead of building its own phone in partnership with an established manufacturer, it's going to be far more than tightening the software grip it already enjoys on the Nexus line.

Phil Nickinson
  • If this rumor is true, I'm starting to strongly doubt Google's strategic vision. First why would Google decide now to build a phone NOW, less than a year after of closing motorola's sale to Lenovo? Sure motorola was for the patents, etc. but if Google really had an inkling of building its own phone at the time, selling moto was a huge mistake. If Google wasn't thinking of making its own phone at the time, this raises serious questions about the strategic vision (or lack thereof) in Google. Secondly, why would google decide now to build its own phone? It's way, WAY, too late to challenge Apple with a tightly controlled in-house phone. That boat left about 6 years ago. Google needs to think twice about ******* samsung off. Samsung could switch to tinzen and not look back. Sure some Samsung owners would complain about fewer app choices, but by and large 90% of samsung users probably wouldn't notice. This is a bad idea.
  • Lol.. Posted via Techmology
  • I think you are way overthinking this. Just relax man. If they build a phone that you like, but it. if you dont like it , dont buy it.
  • I don't think the OP is overthinking it and actually it makes sense. Why give up Motorola if you plan on building your devices. I get the patents, but the resources involved would have been invaluable for building a Google Phone. Lenovo now owns the rights and they have been probably the closest to Google Devs (They worked closely with Google for the first Tango device) outside of the Nexus manufacturers. If google builds a device, its awesome for the consumers, no doubt, but they could have done it more cost effective without giving up Moto. I still feel like a Google Branded phone is all smoke and mirrors. We've heard these rumors for 2+ years now. Huawei went on record saying they're creating another nexus device and we have all heard the HTC rumors. IDK, lets see what happens I suppose
  • Clearly plans changed. People change, staff changes and plans change regularly in business. Does it look like a well thought out plan that was executed properly over the course of the past several years? Of course not. Now what I said remains true. You guys are over thinking it. Just relax and buy the product that suits you best. If it doesnt come from Google, buy it elsewhere.
  • Everything will be all right. Deep breaths. Posted from Nexus 6
  • Ok. Breathing. Still a bad idea.
  • Samsung switching to Tizen would be about as successful as Windows Mobile. You wanna talk bad strategic decisions? Samsung leaving Android is about as bad as it could get. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nah. The vast majority of Samsung users would have no idea the switch occurred, particularly if Samsung kept the visuals the same. Some of them would probably notice the reduced app choice, and complain, but by the time they fulfilled their contract 2 years later, they'd go right back to Samsung.
  • So no gmail? No Google contacts, and what about YouTube? Calendar? Not only me but also my girlfriend really relies on that data in the cloud. Or Google photos... Also the so purchases that we did are gone? No way Samsung will be able to do this without being fully backwards compatible Posted via the Android Central App
  • The only one of those that Samsung wouldn't be able replicate with third party vendors would be google contacts. But you'd be surprised at how many people who I talk to give me a funny look when I suggest they upload their contacts to google, as they'd never considered such a thing. This is further evidenced by the fact that even today, in 2016, I have facebook friends who ask for everyone to post phone numbers because they lost/broke their phones. The fact is the majority of the phone buying public is functionally tech illiterate.
  • There is over 2 million smartphone apps that would be lost. MS tried and has failed.
  • MS has never controlled a mature smartphone market like samsung does in the U.S. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've gotten this same look. These are the same people who go into the store to have their contacts transfered. Posted via Techmology
  • Samsung software is downright horrible. They could "replicate" all of it but it would all be lousy and bloaty and no-one would use it. You are delusional if you think Samsung could do that. They just signed a 10 year deal with Google regarding Android last year. Android is here to stay , at least for a long loooong time.
  • They'll notice the first time they try to download all the apps they use and love from the Play Store. Oh, they'll notice. Unlocked Marshmallow Nexus 6 on Verizon. I'm a happy guy.
  • Samsung could do some kind of virtualization or emulation of Android to get Play Store compatibility.
  • No! No Android emulation! Blackberry tried that with Amazon App store and Android. Epic Fail! I had a Passport and the emulation was just awful!
  • The Play Store is an app that has to be licensed, and Google would not license it to a Tizen OS device, even if they kept binary compatibility with Android or ran the runtime like BlackBerry did. Amazon App Store just isn't comparable. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sure they'll notice. They might complain. But by the time their phones are paid off or contract is up, samsung will make sure the big names will be ported. But will large numbers be so mad that they have to take half a day to tromp down to the carrier store to get a new phone? Nope. Most people don't care about their phones as long as they can reliably call and text. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What two year contracts? It's not 2014 anymore. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You really think the average phone buyer pays cash up front these days? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I can tell you the average buyer finances their devices and upgrades annually now. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I can tell you that this is not the case in developing countries. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The only thing the masses would notice would be no Google Play. Where in the hell did it go. I can see it know. Posted from Nexus 6
  • Exactly this. Samsung with it's own services would bomb and they know it. People might still have access to Snapchat, FB, Twitter clients, IG and everything other third party app, but how good would they be? How feature rich? How updated? Oh, and if you want Maps, Play, Chrome, Gmail, Snapseed or any other Google service, good luck. Go ask Microsoft how good their mobile equivalents are. Samsung needs Google more than Google needs Samsung.
  • I can't stand tizen Posted via the Android Central App
  • Samsung needs Android as much as Android needs Samsung. It's a symbiotic relationship. Samsung isn't going away from Android anytime soon. They benefit from it too much to shake things up. You can bet your ass that pretty much all Samsung users would notice if their new phone didn't have Google Play and access to all of the apps they've purchased and use. The average consumer may not know what version of Android their phone is running but they know it runs Android and has Google Play and all of the Google apps. Furthermore, on the issue of apps, we've already seen that there is not much (if any) room for a 3rd major app ecosystem. A Tizen Galaxy Sx would be dead in the water at launch and both Google and Samsung know this. It's not one side though, Google needs Samsung too but Google making their own phone isn't going to compete with the Samsung machine. The existence of a non-nexus Google phone isn't going to cut into Samsung's profits enough (if at all) to make them jump ship to Tizen.
  • This. This exactly. I love my Samsung, but I'd be damned if I didn't notice the complete omission of the Android OS. Note 4 910C 6.0.1 | Good Lock UI | Android Central App
  • Well that may be why they made that new hardware division to be led by the old Moto guy. Maybe this way is to do it without ticking off the partners. 
  • Not if the phone is branded as a daydream/tango/ara lifestyle phone.
    Think about it, a Swiss Army phone that can be anything you want it to be, when you want it to be that. That is a game changer for sure. It really isn't that far fetched, the modular phone Google is planning could easily manage the heat problems that come with VR/Tango.
    Dare to dream. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's totally an unfounded rumor. No way this will happen, unless they are talking about the niche Ara phones which is a different beast altogether.
  • Interesting how Android Central accuses another website of "trying to make a meal out of nothing". When this very article does exactly the same thing. It sits at the top the Android Central website baits the visitors. Android Central seems to tick the exact same boxes...."Google Phone (Headline)", "Maybe Google's making some sort of non-Nexus smartphone. Maybe it's not.", "steal away marketshare from Samsung". Obviously, that article got under your skin Phil, so you want to discredit the very idea that google would ever build it's own phone. You toss in things like "proof". Fact is, Google could build its own phone. AND you would never know the reason why. They have their own internal reasons. They study markets and people. Companies do things all the time that make no sense to anyone but them. So to discredit the idea makes you look foolish, because it makes you think you know better than Google. What they wrote about the possibility of a Google phone might be completely wrong, but your article could be just as wrong.
  • I will say that I would be one of the Samsung users that would be against it. I love their phones and most of their hardware, and while I understand that they want to do their own thing, I personally wouldn't switch from Android. I'm a huge Google fan, and I won't switch over to a Tizen. At least until I could really try it and see it tested and proven. I also agree that the whole idea of them owning a hardware company, Moto, and then not really doing jack with it was a flop. Now, assuming its true, they want to make a phone. It does feel like a backwards step in a way. The horse is out of the barn already. Honestly, if they made a good handset or tablet I'd use it, assuming it could compete with a Galaxy phone. It would be nice.
  • I don't about that, Google doesn't really need Samsung as anymore but to be fair you have a valid point in that it could backfire on Google and tha t90% of Samsung users are as dumb as the majority of iPhone users , they don't even know that it's Google that makes the software.
  • Am I the only one who is always sceptical when I see the UK's daily rags running stories on technology? Winds me up a treat. To me, The Telegraph is the type of paper my grandfather would read (if he was still with us) and always will be. I'm not saying it's a bad newspaper, just not something I'd trust with a tech news item.... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Now if it were the Daily Mail, it'd be a different story. I trust every word printed in that bastion of journalistic integrity. Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1000 Posted via the Android Central App
  • I trust daily mail a million times more than the huffington post.
  • lol. I am guessing you trust the National Enquirer too.
  • Every word.
  • So you love the daily dose of Kartrashians? #TeamFrosty Nexus 6P
  • Booooobies!
  • Only if there is t and a Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • "If Google really wants to 'control' Android, it needs to sell more of its phones. Not just give them a different brand." And there it is. Guess what though, if you want to sell more phones in the US that means working with carriers, Apple does it and Google needs to do it too if they want to sell more phones. As long as Google sells their phones independent of the carriers then they will always sell less phones then the likes of Samsung and Apple. Just the reality of the situation, doesn't mean it is good or bad, just is. If Apple can push out updates to all of its phones at the same time, regardless of carrier, so can Google push updates to Google made phones. I agree with the article though, this seems like a solution searching for a problem unless Google wants to get serious about selling phones and making Apple like demands of the carriers.
  • This+++++ The only way they can really make a difference is to cut the same deal with the carriers that Apple did. Yet I don't see this happening. I don't see the carriers, especially AT&T relinquishing their control anytime soon. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Did it ever occur to you they don't want to follow the same path? They dabbled and it was a disaster (Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S 4G). They have Fi, they subsidize the devices too. What they need us store fronts or a better display in Best Buy so you can see the devices in person and spread awareness. They don't want a branded phones. They want a Google Pixel Phone,a high end flagship they completely control and designed. Not given what half assed attempt LG gives them. Posted via Techmology
  • That is fine, if that is the route they want to go then so be it, but they will never sell phones on the scale that Apple or Samsung sells phones. My comment was in response to this quote: "If Google really wants to 'control' Android, it needs to sell more of its phones. Not just give them a different brand." The only way for them to sell more phones in the US is to work out a relationship with the carriers that is similar to Apple's.
  • To say that no one will ever sell in the numbers that Apple or Samsung do isn't realistic. Nothing lasts forever, ask Nokia and BlackBerry. Who would've thought 10 years ago they'd be in the situation they're in now? And Apple and Samsung aren't immune from it, no company is.
  • Nokia and BB shot themselves in the foot. they did not keep up with technology and innovate like Android is, just ask Apple, they really appreciate it!!
  • But they were for quite awhile. All it takes is some missteps and Samsung and Apple could be in the same boat. My point was, all these people who think something will never get dethroned or go away aren't being realistic. Nothing lasts forever. Usually it's when these companies start to feel bulletproof that the fall happens. Believing yourself to be invincible is the quickest road to ruin in the business sector.
  • Pretty much this. Their goal would be the same as Microsoft's with the Surface line. The goal isn't to sell loads of them. The goal is to make a high end reference device that sets a bar for the manufacturers to shoot for. Something with little to no bloatware and actually gets updates in a timely fashion. Something where the hardware and software compliment each other. Posted via my MotoE2
  • They've already done that with the 6P IMO Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's what a Nexus is. Posted via the Android Central App
  • except LG probably produced exactly what Google wanted. the tradeoffs were probably so Google could hit the price point they wanted.
  • Agreed, Apple came along at a pretty unique time with a product that was unique and revolutionary. I don't know if Google COULD work out a similar deal, but if they want to sell more phones they have to get involved with the carriers.
  • Google has worked with carriers on Nexus phones. The Nexus S with Sprint. The Galaxy Nexus with Verizon. The Nexus 5 with Sprint and T-Mobile. The Nexus 6 with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Posted via the Android Central App on the Moto X Pure Edition
  • I have a question though. Did they not have the carrier bloat on them as well? One more thing, how do you like the Moto X Pure? I just ordered one from Amazon the other day when they were on sale and it should be here in about three weeks since it was on back order?
  • The Galaxy Nexus only had Backup Assistant and My Verizon, but otherwise no. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't think carrier support is the issue facing nexus. I think it's a Marketing/demand gap. Some of the nexus phones have been available through carriers in the past, and it didn't help sales.
  • It can be both, and it is both. The vast majority of Americans still buy their phones through a carrier, if Joe SixPack can't walk into a store and see the Pixel Phone on the shelf then they won't bother. Again, this is just the reality of the situation, if Google doesn't want to sell more phones then they can continue doing what they are doing.
  • Exactly. I want to hold the phone in my hand, fondle it, maybe even give it a french kiss in the usb port, before i buy it.
  • +920 Oh, sorry. Wrong mobile nations. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just want a nice phone with pure android on it. Im ready for whatever google credit card is waiting Posted via the Android Central App
  • I love samsung but I'm definitely excited to see what Google will bring to the table. Note 4 910C 6.0.1 | Good Lock UI | Android Central App
  • Buy a nexus phone. Google has brought a few of those to the table already the last 5 years :)
  • He said pure Android, that isn't a nexus as the article points out Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's the One Plus Three. Oh wait, you want some vision of YOU think Android is and how you are going to "wait" until it comes? You "sat out" the 6P why exactly? Yup. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Me to!
  • The only phones that can directly compete with the iPhone are the Samsung Galaxy S series and the Note series. No other company has been able to change that otherwise. Posted via Xperia Z5
  • You need your Assassin Droid poor boy Posted via the Android Central App
  • According to the Internet, I'm a poor boy. I learn new things every day. Posted via Xperia Z5
  • That's because Samsung has done an excellent job with marketing.
  • ... And back it up with great phones. Posted via the Android Central App
  • True. Samsung formula: great marketing + great phone=profit What is Google doing wrong? ->No marketing
  • Wait what? This was not my full comment. Full comment was: True. Samsung formula: great marketing + great phone=profit What is Google doing wrong? ->No marketing
  • ...? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think what a Google branded phone would give Google a chance to reboot its attempt to get into the carrier retail stores while (hopefully) maintaining apple-like control and not repeating the mistakes of the Galaxy Nexus. Maybe they'll need to make compromises to do that they could never make with a Nexus phone? Maybe a Google branded phone would have a locked bootloader? Maybe it would have minimal bloat but receive updates direct from Google in unison? The benefit to Google would be an opportunity to "own" Android in the eyes of the public...and in the eyes of people who don't even know what Android is today.
  • They tried that with the Nexus 6, and it still didn't do any good. Verizon and AT&T still blocked updates. Unless a single OEM magically sells as many of a single model as Apple does, they aren't going to have the same "pull" with carriers.
  • I wonder if they're thinking about dropping the "nexus" name, and changing it to Google. Most people don't know what a nexus is, but they know what Google is. Apple puts a big Apple on the back of their devices, maybe Google is thinking about putting Google, instead of nexus.
  • Interesting Posted via the Android Central App
  • If that's the case, i want google to have a new logo...such as a big "G" on the back....not the current colored logo that spells out "google".
  • If they make a phone with Samsung quality camera and Samsung quality display them yes I'm in. If not its just another midrange phone. I don't got no time for no scraps. Rodeo time, time to get er on down the road.
  • strongly doubt that's gonna happen anytime soon, google ain't forking over the money to get the technology sammy has, google wants development devices, you get what you pay for. Nexuses has improved alot but no where near the s7 space. They want a middle ground with hype and that's not gonna happen, didn't work for htc, nor lg and won't work for google.
  • Nowhere near the S7 space? What u been smokin bro? The 6P is just about on par with the S7, it's every bit as premium, and it was released 6 months earlier Posted via the Android Central App
  • Same. I skipped the 6p because i got the 6 late so i dont know how that phone is but the nexus 6 screen is garbage compared to other phones lol.i still love it Posted via the Android Central App
  • 6P... #TeamFrosty Nexus 6P
  • This is just my personal opinion and I'm sure that many people would disagree with me, but I have had many Android phones and only one iphone (the 6s plus) and I have never been impressed with the nexus phones. They, until recently, have had horrible cameras, and too many other tradeoffs to hit a certain price point. If this story is true, I am excited for a premium Google phone. I don't understand why they just wouldn't offer it as a high end Nexus, but maybe it will have added features beyond a nexus device but still get Android updates right away.
    Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to take anything away from the current Nexus line. They are both a lot of phone for the money, but they do have tradeoffs to hit that pricepoint. I am extremely interested in the possibility of a high end Google phone.
  • Yes exactly! A Google phone with the best specs imaginable. Rodeo time, time to get er on down the road.
  • If it can print money, I'm all in.
  • Yup total focus Rodeo time, time to get er on down the road.
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • I went with the Samsung 7 Edge because AT&T offered a two for one deal. That's a big deal. And I think a lot of people jumped on that one. Samsung has lately been hitting all of the high marks on the specs, processor, ram, screen and camera etc. Quality speaks for itself. Take that instance or scenario and add no bloatware, support for at least three years and have it run efficiently like the iPhone... You have an eye opener there for Google.
    Will that make it an instant win for Google... Don't know. Public opinion and adoption is a slow moving whale... And a fickle one at that... Some specs or parts of that new phone has to be a total ass kicker... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nexus devices have to be open source because of their development nature. Adding higher end camera software, for example, would require them to bundle things they may not have the license to distribute. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Perhaps the Google phone could be more of a development mule than a polished consumer device (even more Nexus-y, in other words). Perhaps including Tango functionality or modularity a la Project Ara. Making another typical phone makes little sense as Google isn't super concerned with which name is on the back Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have owned two pieces of Google hardware, and I can honestly say, never again. The Chromecast was only good because it was cheap, but my $70 Apple TV killed it. It's not cheap enough for that and Google live streaming all of my TV and movie habits. The Pixel C was just overpriced garbage, and I was never so glad to break even on a device I sold as I was that one. The OnHub, Nexus Player, Nexus Q, and so on just screamed awful at release, and the reviews and cancellations have confirmed that. Google just seems to be both the engineer and the conductor on the Hardware Fail Train.
  • Nope
  • I don't know about the other Google products you listed, but I have an OnHub router (not actually built by Google by the way, ASUS and TP-LINK) and it has been amazing. Beats the pants off the speed, range, and reliability of my previous router. I have 200 Mbps internet and get that speed all over my house no problem.
  • You could have bought the Asus AC68 it is based on for less money with faster speeds and omnidirectional antennas for less money. Why would you want the lesser device with a bunch of "Under Construction" ports for more money?
  • A) The Asus RT-AC68U is $10 more than I paid for the OnHub, which was on sale when I got it.
    B) The OnHub can handle way more speed than my 200 Mbps connection provides, and I get strong signal with no speed loss everywhere in my apartment, so the AC68 wouldn't help me in those aspects. In fact, the AC68 might be worse simply due to the fact that it look like an alien and I would have to put it under or behind my couch instead of up on my couch side table.
    C) I have no need for a million advanced router settings and appreciate the simplicity and convenience of the OnHub and its companion app.
    D) I don't know what you mean by "Under Construction" ports, but I don't mind the fact that the OnHub has additional hardware in it that isn't being used right now (USB port, bluetooth, zigbee, etc.), because it would be cool if Google released an update in the future that allowed it to become a smart home hub or something. I already make use of the IFTTT integration that Google added in an update to turn my AC on when I get home and my phone connects to Wi-Fi.
  • Also, found this quote on Reddit from someone who owns both. He prefers the OnHub by the way. "Range - hands down beats the RT-AC68U. Quantitatively I don't have any detail on this, but qualitatively, I've been able to remove a wireless extender I had needed previously. Ultimately this is the main reason I've stuck with OnHub. Everything else I can deal with. For me, the range improvement is a huge deal."
  • As long as I get "stock" Android this fall, I'm good. Posted via my LG G5
  • I see a lot of comments demanding Google break into the carrier stores line up but that is a horrible idea. Better to keep whittling away and see more vendors do unlocked phones. With the subsidy model gone carriers still have the audacity to put bloat apps on a phone they charge full price for. I'd much rather see the current carriers just become the dumb pipes they really are.
  • The carriers are the problem with their bloat ware and how they handle their updates. Unless Google can overcome both while having a presence in the carriers storefronts they will never be mainstream. Sure people buy online and at Best buy but the vast majority of people aren't going to layout $600-$1000 out of pocket. This is the hook the carriers use to snag new customers. They all do this. My current phones will be the last carrier branded phones I buy because I am fed up with their bs and I know that I am not alone in this feeling. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I agree with everything Phil said. But why isn't the Pixel C a Nexus?
  • Because the on-screen buttons are different, obviously.
  • *likes* Posted via the Android Central App on the Moto X Pure Edition
  • Just read your URL Phil, and it made me chuckle. :D
  • Shoulda seen what it was before that. :p
  • Short hand
    iphone was king
    android was nothing
    they needed all the oems so it was free without harsh stipulations and bundling tactics
    forward today
    android owns the majority of the market
    Alphabet is born
    Google android is a division and needs to show returns
    End game sell their own phone screw the oems that got them here and take handset profits.
    Apple is the most profitable company in the world basically selling a phone
  • Exactly played right into Google hand. The big losser wiĺl be apple
  • If you honestly think Google can take down Apple in the smartphone arena, you haven't been paying attention. The new iPhone sells more in the first few hours of preorders than every Nexus model has sold. All you need to do is look at discovery from the first Oracle-Google trial and Alphabet's earnings reports to see that. The Nexus is not mainstream.
  • First, alphabet is nothing more than an umbrella company for tax and legal reasons. Second, Google itself doesn't have to show anything because they are basically the entire company. Finally, I am no financial whiz but I remember not too far back that Google overtook apple as most profitable Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sure overall google is more profitable. But when it comes to phone sales, nexus isnt even on the same planet as iphone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Google may have overtaken Apple as the worlds most valuable company for a short period of time based on the value it's shares, but in terms of profit I don't think it even comes close to matching Apple. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agreed. Nexus 6P (althought WAY TOO F*CKING BIG) has been deemed as the best smartphone of its time. It seems like if they just remade the same phone, with a bump in specs, and a 5.0" display size, it would be perfect.Making a pixel phone is fine but the nexus line is already great. Just needs to be advertised!
  • Hello? Project Ara? Do you think that just went away, Phil?
  • I'm pretty sure it's not here yet. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well, did you notice in the subheading of the link: "Developer Edition Shipping Fall 2016..."
  • Who cares? If it's an awesome phone....I'm getting it. You guys are always making something out of nothing.
  • No, this my point. Right now it absolutely is nothing. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You're under the assumption that it exists. Posted via the Android Central App on the Moto X Pure Edition
  • I recently started using an iPhone 6 as a work provided device (which replaced the dog **** Galaxy S4 I was using), and can only hope that Android catches up to iOS in two areas; 1) Battery life/mAh - The iPhone 6 has a batter that is smaller than 2000 mAh, but battery life is amazing, and standby drain is almost non-existent.
    2) OS Fluidity, especially when gaming - I play some very basic games on my devices (Family Guy Quest for Stuff, and Munchie Farm). On Android devices from the same era as the iPhone 6, the word of the day is lag and stutter. On nearly 2 year old iOS hardware, those games run like butter. Let's not compare SD 820 devices with 2 year old hardware. We would be looking at the Nexus 5, or the Nexus 6. Both of which, while good phones in their own right, had plenty of lag when playing those games I mentioned above.
  • Done with smartphones. I'm reactivating my old 2004 LG flip phone with a color screen.
  • Please.......that phone is for dummies.....if you're real serious, you'll power that ol' nokia brickphone bad boy up Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well that's the point. I want to be smarter than my phone!
  • Makes sense now that Microsoft phone is dead. Exited to see the Google phone and if decent would look to replace our Iphones as removing a headphone Jack I do not consider innovation
  • Rather than taking an OEM design and putting slightly less expensive parts in it (Looking at you Nexus S, Galaxy, 5, & 6) I'd really like to see what the Pixel team could design on their own. Out of all of this, that's what I'm hoping for. Show me something you made with your own hands Google, rather than using a leftover design from another company.
  • Nexus 6P was leftover? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I did not say the 6P (reading is fundamental yo) you have to admit the Nexus line of phones has largely been a rebranding on Google's part.
  • Edit. Hi. :) I'd disagree on the Nexus 6. And Nexus S. And probably Nexus 5. Nexus One was very much Desire. Nexus 4 was Optimus G, but a very different shape and feel. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Edit: I thought we crossed wires! I'd like to see what Google would design on their own from the ground up. I get why Google has made the choices they did with those phones and I owned all of those but the S and the 6. I don't think this rumor, if true, is going to solve any perceived problems in the Android ecosystem, I just want to see a Google ground up design of a phone one year. Given the source of this rumor, I put as much stock in it as do "rumors" in the Daily Fail.
  • I think it'd be interesting, too. And I really hope it'd go beyond the basic Pixel design. We've had enough of that, and it certainly wouldn't work all that well in a phone.
  • I thought the Nexus 6 was the most blatant rebranding of all of them. It's essentially a Moto X enlarged with a Nexus logo on the back. I seem to recall many tech blogs even saying it was a scaled up Moto X. But while some Nexus phones may not be just rebranded phones from the OEM's more mainstream lineup, they still carry the design language of the OEM. In most cases, you could look at a Nexus device and tell who the OEM was. Both Samsung Nexus phones had the square camera opening that Samsung is so fond of for instance. I think what he's trying to say is that currently, Google let's the Nexus OEM determine the design for the most part, but Google gets to check off the list of features the device will have. What a phone like this Pixel would/could do is give Google full reign over every aspect, including design.
  • Actually, thinking back, I probably said the same thing. And ... sure enough. "The Nexus 6 is a really big Moto X, minus most of the good Moto X bits."
  • I knew I read that somewhere. ;-)
  • Yes! Thank you!
  • All the points made are relevant especially the very first one about the iPhone. The Nexus phones as you state have been riddled with problems which Google can't control. Add to that the fact that there are no "Google stores" like Apple has to return, swap or get hardware support or advice you have an equation that isn't going to fly in my opinion. Even the Moto phones have taken an interesting turn while the Chinese OEM's are making great strides. Regardless it will be interesting to see how Google handles this, the sort of price tiers they hit and most importantly, if the damn things will work right out of the box!
  • Google can't control? Bs. They have final say on what is going to be built and on the software that requires a . 3 release before it is any good, marshmallow excluded Posted via the Android Central App
  • If Google build there own phone they are going to try completely out of the box stuff. OEMs don't like taking risks, Google does. dreaming of electric sheep
  • Anyone else remember the rumor about "Project Silver"?
  • Yeah, perhaps this Google phone is just that, we'll see Posted via the Android Central App
  • This just shows the disconnect of people like Phil and how business is done in the U.S. Wireless business. How many years of experience does Phil have in this field? Oh, that's right, NONE. It's easy to write opinions and run a blog that sold out a long time ago with ANY credibility. It's more difficult to really understand the technology and business and how it all ties in together. The answer is so ******* simple: The NEXUS program has been an unmitigated failure at every level. At ANY other company this crap would have ended with the Galaxy Nexus debacle. It's just not good BUSINESS. Maybe if AC had anybody around who wasn't from the freaking UK, didn't write stupid ads, err "How to take a picture" articles & hired a real person with all real degree with real experience we'd all get real news, scoops and thoughtful pieces. (Doesn't apply to Uncle Jerry) If Sally and Bill can't walk into XYZ & pick up a NEXUS, guess what. That ish ain't working. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You know Phil lives in the US, right? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Because he lives here doesn't mean he gets it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nonope. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Each Nexus had/has a different purpose. I don't think any of them were intended to be a marketshare grab. Posted via the Android Central App on the Moto X Pure Edition
  • You don't have to work in the wireless business to think critically about the wireless business. (And my job for the past, oh, 17 years now, has been to think critically.) But you didn't actually say what you think Nexus failed to do. ("Everything" doesn't count.) Fail to sell? That's obvious, and is something I addressed toward the end of the editorial. But Google's never said that was the point of the Nexus. It was to showcase the best of Android on a platform worthy of it. (That top-end hardware thing wasn't always the case, of course.)
  • Exactly. Nexus is mainly an example to OEMs and a platform for developers. They sell them to the public because there is demand. But that doesn't mean that they expect them to sell well. Posted via the Android Central App
  • People keep making the assumption that Google actually expects the Nexus phones and tablets to sell in large numbers, but we've never really seem any indication that was the case we with a couple exceptions (e.g. the Nexus 7's which they made an effort to get out in lots of retailers). Please pretty much every time they've made a push with the phones (I.e. through carriers, which is a fact of life in the US), it's been an abysmal failure. Google knows there is a market for them so they make them available, but I think that may have as much to do with the desired to make up some development costs as anything else. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nope. in Full idiot mode, you are on Posted via the Android Central App
  • ^
    | Response to "socalBIGmike" Posted via the Android Central App
  • Xanax.
  • I read that article earlier and I thought two things: 1. Why would Google take the manufacturing role when they already control most of the process in the Nexus line? 2. The Telegraph should just stick to politics Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wouldn't it be funny if this has already happened? All the rumors were false and Google didn't use HTC for this years' Nexus. And maybe the Nexus name is already done. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Samsung couldn't survive without google. Their app store is really bad. I'm so use to using Google Apps. I'd be lost at this point. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just want a phone as fully spec as the Nexus 6P but in a smaller more comfortable size. That's my only complaint about the phone Posted via the Android Central App
  • The Pixel phone? Posted via the Android Central App
  • If Google 'just' become the first company to realize a phablet with a graphene battery that last 5 times longer and almost never deteriorates, that would be enough (as long as everything else is mainstream top of the line hardware).
  • Google works with OEMs to create the Nexus line. They dictate final hardware specs and they get fully stock Android. Taking on the manufacturing risk makes no sense. There pixel line is different. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Anyone else want PLAY EDITION phones to make a come back?
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Maybe that is what the future Nexus devices would be. And Google's device would be like a Pixel phone,
  • Pixel Play Phone
  • Or, better yet, have the OEM skin and carrier bloatware as an *option* during the initial setup.
  • I think it is the lack of stock features that is keeping Nexus from becoming the go to line for most Android users yes security updates every month are great but if I dont have video on all the time cut and paste photos together like on the note no dual window support out the box then why would I buy your stock Android I also think Google needs to stop putting all its apps on Nexus devices stock or at least offer a SD card slot because they take up a lot of space on the 32 GB most people use their phone to consume media and I'f Google really want project Fi to take off and Nexus they need to give it a niche to ma ko e them stand out
  • I personnel believe that Google should come up with its phone. There was no real design continuity between the Nexus 5X and 6P, most likely because designed by two different manufacturers. Google has enough money to follow apple with premium products. I do believe that they should also invest in retail space. A Google store is not really new as they tried this in the past. With the offerings of android or google phones, google TV and android connected devices, they can mirror Microsoft stores. I finally switched after many years from iPhone to Android. The android OS but mostly google services are so much better than iOS. Siri is a joke in compare to google voice and so on. It is going to be the fight for the best service and Google is ahead right now.
  • Dear Google, You NEED retail space. SIX years in, and people STILL have no clue what a Nexus is.
  • I can see Google making a bunch of different "nexus" devices. Why just stick with one brand? Why just one phone?
    Your market penetration will never be as good with one device (iphone excluded).
    Give me a few options with "nexus" devices and I could see a stronger hold taking place.
  • There are some good points that people have made here but none of these would make much difference without ADVERTISING. Personally I think if Google were aiming for an "Apple-like" model they would have started long before now although I appreciate that there has to be a start point if that were their goal. And yes I know Google has done some adverts but they haven't thrown anywhere near as much budget at their products as others have.
  • my question is, how would a google phone be different from a nexus phone? there is only one stock android. does that mean google would create a UI? that might be interesting. if not i dont see what the difference would be except for the hardware...but when the nexus is made by different OEMs each year the hardware isnt consistent anyway.
  • Tell us how you really feel. Just kidding, this article is what I was thinking.
  • I'd stick with the Nexus devices. Hopefully they'd remain closer to AOSP. Then Google can Google up their own device like with those hideous opaque navigation buttons that are rumored to be in Android N and keep the Nexus devices more stock. Go back to the AOSP launcher and things like that. Any new Google services they want to push out on people could be the stock services in the Pixel phone and keep the standard services, like Messenger, as stock on the Nexus devices.
  • I don't see how it will make any difference one way or the other. Google makes their money by selling ads not by selling hardware, Nexus phones are probably break even for them and a Google branded phone wouldn't be any different. The strength of the Android ecosystem is based on the huge number of manufacturers that make Android phones, Google can't piss them off by competing directly with them. They did run some useless ads for the Nexus 5X and 6P last fall but they only mentioned the Nexus name and nothing else, I can't imagine they had any effect. They could never run a competitive ad against an Android OEM, you will never see an ad that demonstrates how much faster stock Android is over the skinned versions offered my Samsung or LG or how much faster the Nexus or some Google branded phone is updated. That would destroy their business model. They need ot figure out how to solve the real problem which is getting manufacturers to roll out updates in a timely manner.
  • I think this whole thing is based upon s premise they I'm not sure is true: that they care how many devices they themselves sell. No Nexus exists to give OEM's a model to work from, but Google is a software and services company and an add company. They may money weather it's a Nexus, Samsung, or HTC device. In fact if it's not a Nexus device they don't have to deal with support headaches. As long as your using Google apps and viewing their adds, I don't think they care. Apple is a hardware company first. That's where the vast majority of their money comes from and why it's such a problem for them when iPhone sakes tank like they have been. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They sold 50 million+ phones last quarter. You consider that "tanking?"
  • In business its expected that your sales will grow year over year if you want to be considered successful. They've reacted their plateau and no longer growing to any significant degee, so yes. I'm not saying that Apple is doomed or anything like that, but they need to do something if they want to remain successful. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Amazing article. Great job Phil! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Very interested in seeing how this 'Google phone' effects other OEM's... I hope what Samsung and Huawei threatened to do (using their own proprietary OS) isn't what's to come from the likes of LG, HTC and such... Posted via the Android Central App
  • The tech media now talks about smartphones (and the people and companies that make them) like TMZ talks about celebrities and the movies and TV shows they star in. Everything is presented such a conspiratorial manner when no one really knows anything. I guess I could have just called it (the Telegraph article) click bait, and gotten the same point across. Posted with my LG G4 6.0 via the Android Central App
  • I'm a bit confused as to how Nexus isn't a Google phone? I'm assuming because its an LG-built phone and not built by Google directly.
  • We need a Nexus device that took Android to the heights of the Nexus One.
  • I'll tell you what we need people.... Samsung tv's that don't die after 4 years. I'm soooooo peo'd it aint funny.
  • The new google it comes.... The "NEXi". Not pronounced nexeeeee but the "i" is pronounced "eye". Tim Cook would be pleased!
  • Samsung and Huawei are threatening to leave android and there are a bunch of articles on the net saying that google making it's own phone doesn't make strategic sense?
  • Google will buy HTC before making their own phone Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is a good editorial, but for the life of me I cannot parse that last sentence: "But you can bet every last byte that if Google does "build its own phone" instead of building its own phone in partnership with an established manufacturer, it's going to be far more than tightening the software grip it already enjoys on the Nexus line." What the heck does that mean?
  • What's the point of Google using a partner to build Nexus phones in the first place? They can build the phones themselves.