Report: Google to offer multiple Android 5.0 Nexus devices, will sell direct to consumer through Google Play

If the appearance of the Galaxy Nexus for sale through the Google Play store signaled the company’s renewed interest in direct smartphone sales, a new report out of the Wall Street Journal could hint at plans to change the entire Android landscape. According to the report, Google will open up its Nexus program to multiple OEM partners and offer up to five launch devices for Android 5.0, which will be on sale by Thanksgiving of this year if all goes according to plan. The move would aim to satisfy manufacturers wary of favoritism in light of Google’s Motorola buyout while providing a selection of carrier unlocked devices running the latest version of Android to customers in Europe, the United States, and Asia.

Rumor has it more details could be unveiled at the upcoming Google I/O conference. We will likely get our first tease of Jelly Bean, the next version of Android, at the show as well. It isn’t confirmed but we might expect both tablets and phones to be included among the stable of Android 5.0 devices. The move would be sure to cause a bit of tension with major mobile providers, but offering multiple devices with a unified build of Android could be a move in the right direction if Google plans to tackle the fragmentation problem head on.

[via Engadget]

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  • surethom

    If true (large pinch of salt) this would be very good for the Android platform & for the consumer, Stock Android Jelly Bean on different phones, so you can choose from different company’s & specs??

  • ReverseRoxas

    All that needs to be said is that this is a good move by Google.

  • ray


  • nick

    You know that sounds awesome n all, but it would be even better if they would spend more time on updating older devices to current instead of focusing on the next big thing. I know technology is moving rapidly but Sheesh, don’t forget about the ones that are just now receiving gingerbread n all who would love a taste of ICS. Or HTC users getting updates to sense 3.+ it would just be nice is all I’m saying

    • Jordan Hotmann

      Google is constantly updating code. It’s up to the manufacturers and carriers to get updates out for non-stock phones. Your beef is with HTC not Google.

    • mortenmhp

      What Jordan said and then this is actually the best possible step Google could take to ensure that users will get timely updates in the future, so this is actually kind of what you are asking for.

  • Tyler Smith

    If we’re looking at a thanksgiving release of 5.0 then they’d pretty much just be skipping over ICS considering it’s barely even on that many devices. Though, this idea seems like a very good one, I just think thanksgiving is entirely too early and I don’t think there’s any chance that that will be the actual time period.

    • spicymeatball

      Their plan is a new version every 12 months and that would put that right on target.

      • Mike Reid

        Precisely at the start of the Christmas buying season.

        Good timing IMO.

        And the OEMs who “aren’t with the program” will enter the season with last years version.

    • mortenmhp

      You know it’s in November right?
      Usually at that point ics will be pretty much exactly where GB was when ics was released(GB was released very close to 12 months before ics)

  • aergern

    Now if they would just make v5 available AS just an OS upgrade through the store for all of us Gnex users who already have the device then THAT would be a game changer. They know what runs and doesn’t on the Galaxy devices .. it would be pretty damn simple to do as well. Just selling phones with it preloaded isn’t ALL that much of a game changer.

    • mortenmhp

      Given Google’s history with updating Nexus devices it would seem very unlikely if that didn’t happen.(also it would be through an OTA update not the store)

  • JBO1018

    I think this sounds like an awesome idea. The Nexus exclusivity was cool and all in the past but hopefully this will bring a 100% stock Android device with updates straight from Google to all carriers all at once.

  • Omer Subhani

    So there will be multiple Nexus devices by Thanksgiving? That’s awesome.

  • Treknologist

    Perfect timing. I’m due for an upgrade in November!

  • InspectorGadget80

    I thought they were going to skip 5.0 for mobile cellular device like they did with HONEYCOMB for only tablets.

    • mortenmhp

      But why? Nothing ever pointed in that direction? And Google had no reason to do so unlike with HC

  • YellowSnow

    I don’t know if Google will ever get control of the “fragmentation” problem. Since Android is open source, there’s nothing to keep handset makers to go it on their own (like Amazon) if Google puts too many restrictions on the Nexus approach.

    • shonangreg

      There are several things to keep handset makers from going it on their own. Would you buy a Verizon “android” phone if it had no market/Google Play and no google maps?

      Amazon has the niche market to sustain a specialized device with a forked android. As long as it works with books, it has a market. None of the American carriers have anything like this to offer. If one tried to fork android, people would just switch to another carrier.

  • Magus2300

    Asus PadFone Nexus… [drool]….

    • atg284


  • Anmol Ghotra

    The CM team just shit their pants, LMAO

  • fahadayaz

    A phone, a tablet, a TV… what are the other two? o_O

    • Montisaquadeis

      hmm set top box could be another

    • renGek

      Maybe they will have 2 tablets. There was an article floating earlier this week that samsung would put out a 10″ nexus tablet this year confusing all those who thought it would be an asus nexus tablet. But they would be 2 different sizes so why not.

  • koolkat2

    Guess they learned from Verizon

    • phinn

      Meanwhile Apple is selling millions of handsets on Verizon. This is no excuse.

  • Alex

    I definitely see this as a step to eliminate future fragmentation. Google probably realizes there’s no way they’d be able to catch all old devices up to date but if they put out more nexus devices where they have more control over the updates, then they could eliminate or at least minimize future fragmentation. It’s like pushing a vaccine on everyone. If everyone gets it from a certain point on, the disease will eventually be eliminated.

    • aiden9

      Well even beyond there being more Nexus devices to help bolster OS adoption percentages, giving each OEM early access would mean they would have more time to work with the OS before it is released. Meaning instead of say “Android Update J is released then 6 months later the OEM gets on top of the update”, we would (ideally) see “OEM works with Google for a few months, has a good understanding of the update, Update J is released then a month or two later OEM releases update for non nexus phones. That extra prep time before the OS hits the market could go a long way towards faster updates.

      • Daniel Tiberius

        This would be very nice. More chances to get a Nexus and still faster updates for everyone else.

    • Sean Mullins

      Unfortunately the massive soon to be success known as the GS3 is going to set this all back a bit, there are enough worthwhile software enhancements in there that im going to have a hard time justifying flashing a new rom. Been holding onto my N1 since launch day, GS3 is going to replace it.

      • bluevoodo

        S3 sucks major balls, touch wiz blows and everyone and their grandmother knows about it.

      • phinn

        Lol at replacing an N1 with that giant piece of crap.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    I think they mean Next Nexus will be made by multiple OEM’s instead of picking 1 company. I am sure that goes for phones, tablets, Glasses, TV’s etc

  • Brandon Lee

    i doubt this meams well see 5 nexus phones, that would be dumb. a htc/sammy/moto/lg/asus nexus device?

    im thinking they are gonna do the gsm phone/cdma phone/gsm tab/cdma tab and some other device? (tv?)

  • Fuzzypaw

    So probably 1-2 tablets and 3-4 phones. Going to guess that Asus is a lock for at least one tablet, and Samsung is a lock for at least one phone for political reasons if nothing else. If I was in charge, I’d then make the remaining 3 devices phones and award them to HTC, Sony, and LG. Yes, LG: their bugbear has always been software, their hardware’s pretty great, so making software a non-issue by putting stock Android on their phone would solve that problem. Sony puts out sexy stuff and has been very faithful to the stock / update end of things, so they definitely deserve a nexus device too.

    Logically there should be a Moto nexus but it won’t happen this year due to politics. I half expect Google to turn around and sell the company again immediately after divesting it of its patents.

    • Magus2300

      I say again… Asus PadFone Nexus. [drool]

      • warcaster

        I think all 5 will all be Asus devices integrated into one.

      • feztheforeigner

        Nexus name should always come first.

    • Hearthero

      Actually, I suspect that they offer the Nexus program widely. No reason that Motorola would be hobbled. I bet they make one as well.

  • Malik

    There won’t be enough clean pairs of pants in the world if Google is able to follow through with this.

  • Josh Farber

    This may work with GSM carriers, but I’m not sure how it will work with CDMA carriers like Verizon. It’s easy to pop a SIM card in a GSM phone, but Verizon will have to allow the phone to be registered to their network… I hope they allow it…

    • jwthrush

      ^ this. That was my first thought when I saw this. Oh carrier loyalty…how I loathe thee.

    • Richard Braley

      Well they better start thinking out their game plan. I think a killer handset on every major network except X does more damage to X then it does to the handset maker. The fact that GSM has such an open technology is the reason why I’m dropping sprint in two months when my contract is up. Well that and the fact that my quality of service has been a sink hole for the last 2 years.

    • Sean Mullins

      LTE is a GSM technology, It wouldnt/couldnt work with their cdma network, but it could for their LTE markets.

      • BulletTooth_Tony

        It’s a GSM Standard… not a GSM technology… GSM the technology died with EDGE.

  • reiththestud

    If they sold the Sprint/CDMA version of the GNexus for $400 I would buy two right now for my wife and I. Of course, if they sold an unlocked CDMA/GSM version like the iPhone 4S I would be even more motivated to do so. Alas, Apple is still the only company with the clout to push around the carriers like that.

  • blue720

    The way I see it, Google needs to require all OEMs to have a certain hardware requirement for updated software. Future proof it for at least two to three updates and also require the carriers not to add bloat to the software.

    • unbearablepleasures

      I think that Android 4.0 has proved to us that the hardware does not need to be incredibly powerful in order to run the software. There are new devices coming out hat have have single core processors clocked at 600mhz that are running Android 4.0 out of the gate.

  • kennedy myril

    i love it… absolutely brilliant.

  • johnny989

    I would like Ice Cream Sandwich on my phone first before anything comes out with 5.0 :-/

  • andrew__des_moines

    I wouldn’t worry about carriers, they are probably licking their chops at this (for now). In the short and medium term, carriers will be able to charge users the same amount for services they do to consumers with subsidized devices. Long term, VOIP and next generation wifi will leave them in the dust — but for now its a good gig.

  • Tyler Newell

    . If moto makes a droid nexus, i’m there. I appreciate that the slabs are thinner and in more demand, but personally i refuse to buy a phone without a qwerty… I’ve had to sacrifice my bootloader in the past for this, but this rumor gives me hope that a qwerty nexus isnt so crazy an idea.

    • Larizard

      It wouldn’t be called a Droid because Verizon shelled out money to Lucas Entertainment to use that brand.

  • Jason Crumbley

    I love this idea.

  • Barry Denton

    Google. All high-end devices, no more mid or low-end shit. If consumers can’t afford the high-end devices, then they just need to wait for a sale or price drop. I think this is the right thing to do because I am so tried of these other manufactures straying away from Google with their own ecosystem. Google, please don’t disappoint us. We want the “WOW” factor this time, so use the best technology available. Don’t short stick it!!!

    • unbearablepleasures

      You comment sounded like an elitist douche! Just because a low end device is not right for you, does not mean that it’s not right for someone else. It took me sometime to understand that also, but I realize not everyone needs nor wants a high end device.

  • Travillion

    And none of them will be on Verizon…

    • *Certified_geek™

      Oh I believe Verizon lost that privilege on the way they tried to muscle Google on the Galaxy Nexus.

      • 91firebirder

        This whole Verizon CDMA thing is beginning to get annoying. I would look forward to the next Nexus, but we all know it will be GSM phones, since they are used world wide, and would have to be redone for Verizon.

        • phinn

          Beginning to get annoying? It’s been annoying for YEARS.

      • Daniel Tiberius

        Yeah they definitely shit the bed.

    • phinn

      Verizon is beyond terrible for devices. The problem is I get no signal with anyone else at work.

    • phinn

      But why? Apple has no problems selling millions of devices on Verizon. Google should be doing the same.

  • Ian Smith

    Android 5.0??? LOL!!! The fragmentation widens. Google really needs to settle into a build and focus on functional improvements. If they keep redesigning their O.S. every six months they’re going to lose any feel of consistency they have left.

    • Daniel Tiberius

      6 months? What world do you live in? 2.x had one design through 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, then 3.whatever was just for tablets which was a redesign that 4 stuck with and just made it across tablets and phones.

  • *Certified_geek™

    overall this is great news..

  • crashinghero

    Why is it a foregone conclusion that Jelly Bean is 5.0? There were named versions after 2.0 at 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3, right? It made sense for Honeycomb to be 3.0 and ICS to be 4.0 because those were each major revisions to the OS. I would be surprised if there were a similarly major revision in store for this year as well.

  • Scott Tompkins


    *provided manufacturers stay true to the Nexus credo of not installing their own custom bloat overlay…

  • fun4Samar

    Hands down, the best decision to sustain play store. Now only, if they could push out updates on a priority basis.

  • Mark Williams

    Count Me In!

  • chris125

    This is good for google to do but most likely won’t see any cdma nexus devices especially if they are selling them through the google play store.

  • Guest

    Quick questions, is it so hard to build roms and update phones because of drivers? I mean, it’s the same OS? Why is it that you can use various parts in a built PC, install Windows, update drivers, and they all work together with no issues, in most cases, yet on an android device you can’t just install an OS and update drivers through the OS? Why can’t an updated OS be released with minimum requirements to run it and allow phones that fall under that category to upgrade straight from Google?

  • DrCarpy

    I called for this on another site.
    It feels good to know that this idea not only had merit but might actually grow wings!

  • Nick Thai

    Smart Move Google. Waiting for OEM Software Update is the Pain in the Butt


    Opening the Way to get Motorola onto Nexus Line without Pissing off other OEM :D ->>>> Smart Move, GoogleTorola

  • Nick Thai


  • Androidandwp7equalsPower

    If they can do the Amazon model and sell it for 200-400 dollars a device, then it will be a number 1 seller and all the carriers can go to hell.

  • vash_carrison

    If true, this can open the doors to my desperately wished for PadFone Nexus! :-D

  • David Osborn

    Possible subsidization from google? I’m all for it.

    • Daniel Tiberius

      I hope it’s a low price non-subsidized personally. They’re selling the Galaxy Nexus for 400 now with no subsidization. That’s a great price. Ef contracts.

      • wickets

        great price but if verizon is your carrier you cant use it so it might just as well be 3c

  • Paul

    ICS has been available for months, the only reason people don’t have it on their phones is because the OEMs and carriers insist on filling them with crap. If I can get a good piece of hardware running stock Android without doing it myself, I’m all in.

  • bmg314

    Don’t know if someone else suggested this already, but if not, how about ONLY Nexus devices from now on? No more Droids, no more evos, no more Galaxies…just nexii.

    Please don’t ruin this with reasons why this wouldn’t work…it’s my dream :-p

  • Craig Nelson

    Looks like I’ll be going to At&t this Winter.

  • Craig Nelson

    Why don’t Google just work with the manufacture on he Updates, Then put it on there site and make it downloadable on there skipping the need on waiting on Carriers

  • REVS

    def need a pad fone type device

  • Daniel Tiberius

    Is there a way for them to make a phone with GSM and CDMA inside so they don’t have to sell as many and you can switch it somehow if you change carriers?

    • TheScientists

      Yes, VZW has sold world phones for years (combo GSM/CDMA). They tend to be expensive. But this necessity will go away w/ the propagation of LTE. All the major carriers of the world are moving towards LTE. Also, VZW can already add GSM roaming to LTE phones via software update. I believe they did that w/ the Droid 4 – essentially turning it into a ‘world phone’.

      • WungFu

        But not all LTE networks are created equal. They still all work on different frequencies which is a pain.

  • JevyJav

    AWESOME IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!! best android news ive heard in quite sometime definitely a smart play. First truly major step in ending fragmentation if this actually happens. This should have been done years ago.

  • Hockeytown

    Still waiting for ICS for Rezound!! any idea?

    • phinn

      CM9 Unofficial builds.

  • http://Theywaitedtoolong Dsparil

    Good news. Now I can hopefully get a Nexus and keep Tegra Zone.

  • 2Choppah9

    What ever hapened to the open network provision Verizon was supposed to adhere to when they bought all that spectrum at the last auction?


    For the consumer, this is great news. It will force the carriers to compete based on plan pricing services, not the latest device that they insist upon filling with their garbage. This is why I bought the Nexus a couple weeks ago on Google Play…..This is great news.


    this is what i’m waiting for. a bloatware free MOTO device without verizon’s drek embedded in it.

    just like the first day i got my G-1.

  • phinn

    Google should release the following Jelly Bean handsets.

    1. 4.0″ phone
    2. 4.7-5.0″ tablet-phone
    3. 10″ Tablet

    All of them should have excellent build quality and hardware specs. And be upgradable down the road to Android 6.0, etc, the way current Nexus devices are.

  • Martin Rix

    5 launch devices? Fine.
    But only one Nexus. (Two if you count a Nexus Tablet)