Two UK retailers, Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U, have stopped selling the Nexus 4, a week before the Google I/O. Some say some “next-generation” Nexus will arrive (Nexus 5), but chances are its a slightly modified version of the Nexus 4, perhaps with LTE, this time.
One of the biggest criticisms of the Nexus 4 has been its lack of LTE, especially in the US market, where LTE networks have been deployed by most carriers. When all the phones are offering LTE, it’s a little hard to compete with them when your phone doesn’t have it. This is why we might see an updated version of Nexus as soon as Google I/O next week.
There’s also a very slight possibility that we’ll indeed see a Nexus 5, but for Google to do that, they’d need to have some other plans in places for this fall, perhaps with their own Motorola devices, and maybe they just don’t want the Nexus 5 to compete against that.
The problem with that theory is that we only know about the Motorola X phone so far, and that phone, at least from the few rumors we’ve heard, doesn’t have very impressive specs. Although, one rumor also said the hardware will be very configurable, so perhaps that version that didn’t have very high-end specs, was just one of the possible configurations.
But another rumor also said the Motorola X is coming this summer. So then, it won’t be much competition for the Nexus 5, if launched in fall, anyway. Unless Google has another even more impressive Motorola phone prepared for the holiday season, then there are not many reasons to believe Nexus 5 would be in conflict with Motorola’s phones too much.
Perhaps Google is not fully ready with Motorola this year, but I hope they better plan out their releases for next year, and decide how to launch the Motorola phones and how to launch the Nexus devices, so they all launch in a more organized manner, and not just at random or whenever they are available.
Ideally, what I would like Google to do is to turn Nexus from one, or I guess 3 now, devices per year, into a whole “Nexus program”. And just like with the Chromebooks, as many manufacturers as possible could make them, as long as they leave the OS untouched, and follow Google’s strict guidelines, and of course get updated often and for a long time. This is actually one of the reasons I thought Sundar Pichai (Chrome VP) was a good fit as the head of Android, too.
Then, just make all Motorola’s phones as “part” of that Nexus program (not that different from Google making its own Chromebook Pixel, actually), and then release one Motorola flagship phone and tablet at Google I/O, as the developer devices – because that’s where all the Google/Android developers go anyway. Then make another “different” flagship phone (and perhaps a tablet, too) for the holiday season – perhaps a flagship that focuses much more on photography than the “regular” flagship (think large sensors and everything).
Although, they should probably release the photography-focused one at I/O, since devs/geeks care about this sort of specs anyway, and because it makes more sense to take pictures in summer, and keep the more “mainstream” flagship for the holiday season. I don’t know if Google is going to do anything close to this, but I sure hope they would.