AH-Android Silver

Android Headliner: Will The Cost Of Android Silver Be Too High?

May 25, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

The long beloved Nexus line of smartphones from Google may be coming to an end with the Nexus 6, and for some it almost means the end of an era. Google has been offering Nexus devices for five years, promising to bring the very best of Android in its absolute purest form starting with the Nexus One, leading up to now with the current Nexus 5, and they might be pulling the plug after the Nexus 6. The decision to forego the Nexus line of phones and continue their legacy of a stock Android experience has been rumored for months to be carried on as the Android Silver program. The move to Android Silver doesn’t come down to just one reasoning if we’re to speculate why Google decided to switch things up, but rather is made up of a number of reasons, the least of which is not so that they can re’establish themselves as the company behind Android and make their presence behind the operating system better known. Android Silver is rumored to be an initiative of putting higher end handsets with as close to the stock Android experience of the Nexus line as possible inside carrier stores. Such a program would come with more timely updates for the software on those devices, much like Google does with the Nexus devices now, but establishing Android with a Nexus like feel inside higher end phones is also said to be coming with a higher end price tag.

For the last few devices the Nexus phones have been a way for consumers to grab a high quality device with pretty decent specs and hardware at a fraction of the cost of some of the competing higher end flagships from OEMs that place their devices on wireless carrier lineups. Google has done a great job at offering users the choice to pick up amazing phones at less than $400, while flagship devices sit at least a couple hundred dollars higher than that of a Nexus. This doesn’t mean that’s what customers always pay of course, at least here in the U.S. since high end flagships can come with a 2-year contract which allows for the purchase of phones at a lower cost. The cost of these flagship devices at full cost though is well over that of what the cost for the Nexus phones have become, and Android Silver is rumored to be the same. Will this new premium brand from Google be able to fill those Nexus shaped holes left in the hearts of so many loyal fans of the brand? Or will the cost be too high? Right now since there aren’t any actual facts about pricing there’s no way to know for sure. Premium handsets won’t come cheap though and the closest example of what an Android Silver phone might be like are the Google Play Edition devices, which have been gracing the Play Store Devices section for the last year. They all tend to get the timely updates and support that Google has promised for the Nexus line but they cost hundreds more.

Android Silver may not end up being as expensive as some people are thinking and they could end up being less than the GPe devices, but with the amount of money that Google is allegedly ready to spend to launch this new branding initiative, a higher device cost might just be one way for them to make back the costs they’ll potentially be incurring to help put Android Silver devices on the map. Google is rumored to be spending as much as $1 billion to get device manufacturers on board. The search company is also said to be planning on spending plenty of cash on advertising as well as promoting the devices inside carrier retail locations. Since we really know nothing about the actual pricing, we can’t rule out the possibility that Google will have a range of devices available within the Android Silver program with some being less expensive than others. Google is likely targeting the high end device market here though, mid range prices like what we’ve seen on the Nexus devices seem like less of a possibility. If Android Silver devices end up being as costly as other flagships, will the prices be too high and cause you to look for other mid-range solutions or will you follow Google into this new device tier?