Google has had the Nexus line since 2009 with the Nexus One where they partnered with HTC for the device. Since then, we’ve had 7 other Nexus smartphones (Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P) along with a few tablets from Samsung, ASUS and HTC as well as an Android TV set-top box in the Nexus Player. The purpose of the Nexus program is to work worth partners to deliver a smartphone that showcases the latest version of Android. In the beginning, it was a developer phone, then it became a flagship for budget money, and now it’s just a premium smartphone with Android Marshmallow and the latest updates straight from Google. However, it appears that Google wants to take more control over the Nexus program.
When we spoke with Huawei exec’s back in November, they informed us that Google makes just about all the decisions on the Nexus products, even with the hardware. While a few things were up to Huawei, the majority was Google’s choice. Now there’s a report coming out of The Information stating that Google wants to take an “Apple-like” control over the Nexus program, and that includes controlling it from top to bottom. What it sounds like is that Google wants to go the way of the Pixel line and develop everything in house. This is going to lead to all sorts of Pixel-phone rumors too.
It’s also said in this report that Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai told colleagues and outsiders that the company is going to take more control over the Nexus program. Of course, the report didn’t state when that could happen. Apparently, HTC is still trying to be the maker of this year’s Nexus devices. However according to insiders at HTC, the company isn’t too pleased with Google wanting more control. Which includes making a Nexus smartphone that doesn’t bear HTC’s logo anywhere on the smartphone. That, apparently, doesn’t sit well with HTC right now. The report also mentions that some Googlers were not happy about the fact that current Nexus smartphones were not sold through carriers nor retailers (at launch at least). This is likely because they feel that more customers would be buying the Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X if it were available through a carrier, where they could finance the device. Instead, they were only able to finance through Project Fi.
This is a pretty interesting report, that rehashes a bunch of things that we’ve heard in recent years. Having Google take complete control over the Nexus line may in fact be a good thing. We’ll have to wait and see, but this year’s Nexus line could be the last one made from a partner, and it could be HTC after all.