Pop the champagne: the Nexus line is officially here to stay

Nexus Google Play devices

Rumors of Google killing off its Nexus line in favor of an upcoming Android Silver program have been escalating in recent months. Guess nobody told Dave Burke, the guy in charge of the Nexus program and the head of Android engineering at Google. In an interview with ReadWrite, Burke finally laid to rest those ridiculous rumors of the Nexus-line’s demise, and although he was mum on details of the Android Silver program, he made it perfectly clear Nexus wont be going anywhere.

“People have been commenting about Nexus because there is something else and they think that means the end of Nexus. That is the totally wrong conclusion to make. People just get excited by concepts and forget why we do things. We are still invested in Nexus.

It would then appear that, while the Android Silver program could indeed be geared toward higher-end Android devices built by Google’s hardware partners and running near stock versions of Android (similar to Google Play), these devices will be offered in carrier store, with subsidized pricing. This may have something to do with the fact that nobody wants to pay $700 upfront for a Google Play edition of a phone they can get on-contract for $100. Suddenly, Samsung holding back the Galaxy S5 Google Play edition is starting to make a lot of sense.

Burke goes on to clarify Google’s reliance on actual hardware to build Android onto, and the reason we’ve seen Android development phones since the original HTC Dream. But it’s not just for Android developers, consumers too need a lower-cost, contract-free Android device, offering the purest version of Android, with updates directly from Google.

“When we are working, there are sort of two outputs. We’re building a Nexus device and we’re building the open source code. There is no way you can build the open source code without the phone or tablet or whatever you are building. You have to live and breathe the code you are developing.

You can’t build a platform in the abstract, you have to build a device (or devices). So, I don’t think can can or will ever go away. And then, I think Nexus is also interesting in that it is a way of us explaining how we think Android should run. It is a statement, almost a statement of purity in some respects. I don’t see why we would ever turn away from that, it wouldn’t make sense.”

So there you have it, folks. Straight form the horses mouth. And although Burke didn’t specifically say the Nexus smartphone line was here to stay (perhaps he was talking about tablets?), we think there’s a good chance of a Nexus 6 launching with Android L later this year. Now, let the rumors begin.

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TAGS: Android L , Android Silver , Nexus , Nexus 5 , Nexus 6

  • BigCiX

    Looks like daddy will be getting the “Nexus 6″ later this year!

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Or Nexus 5 2014.

      • k6tcher

        Yes. This is exactly what I think will happen. This would also keep the “there will be no Nexus 6″ rumors true as well. Current screen is 4.95″. Perhaps a slight bump in screen size that would still round to 5″?

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          The perfect size for a smartphone if you ask me :)

      • BigCiX

        Word….or that too. I told u a while ago I was done with any other device besides a nexus. I still have that video u posted of my comment. My wife called me a crybaby for complaining all the time.

      • mcl630

        The number isn’t the size for phones, only tablets. Stop perpetuating that fallacy. The next Nexus phone (the 6th) will be Nexus 6, regardless of its size. I don’t know what they’ll do for the 7th Nexus phone, though, since they’ve boxed themselves into a corner by naming tablets by size, using up the Nexus 7 name.

      • Cael

        Nexus 5 2014 now in yellow with an S801 lol

    • Ryan O’Neill

      As long as it doesn’t have a 6″ display. PLEASE

      • BigCiX

        Agree. 5 is perfect. Or less bezel on the same phone.

  • Christian Naylor

    I blame evleaks.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Always blame @evleaks.

      • lolwut

        But never Phandroid

        • IVHorseMen


  • PD_Fresh

    Great news. Now the question is: Who will make the Nexus 6?

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez


      My vote: Sony and I want it to stay 5-inches. I guess I’m looking for a Nexus 5 2014.

      • PD_Fresh

        Agreed, a Sony Nexus would be great. I wonder if they’d actually make a Phablet sized Nexus?

      • RaiDei

        I’m down for that! Whoever makes, I hope to God that they go light on the bezels.

        Like I said before, though, I’d be happy with just a refreshed Nexus 5. Maybe the same chassis, with a Snapdragon 805 and a bigger battery. Maybe offered in 32gb and 64gb.

        I still think that, battery size aside, the Nexus 5 may be my perfect phone. I switched to an HTC One M8, and couldn’t even stand having it for a week. I switched right back.

        • BigCiX

          I’d be happy to with a bigger battery AMD less bezel. Maybe bump up the speakers and headphone jack audio. My beats sound like crap on my N5.

          • Marc Perrusquia

            It’s not the nexus 5 making the beats sound like that…..

          • BigCiX

            So my Nexus 5 and HTC One X (with beats audio) should sound the same right.

          • Mark G.

            Especially now that Apple owns them… That won’t happen

          • malcmilli

            I can second that the audio on my nexus 4 is trash compared to my old Evo LTE

          • BigCiX

            Exactly. My Nexus 5 doesn’t even come close to what music sounds like coming out of my headphones on my HTC.

          • TDN

            What is the impedance, Max power input, and sensitivity on your Beats? It might be that they may be to hard for the Nexus to drive. I believe the HTC phones have higher max output through their headphone jacks than other phones (to accommodate the Beats Audio).

      • BigCiX

        I rather have a metal build HTC version.

        • Kevin Mai

          I’d rather have a matte plastic HTC. HTC does really great plastic, and metal would jack up the costs :|

      • aw1974

        I’d vote for Sony IF they shrink their infamous bezels.

        • Kevin Mai

          The ZL series has pretty slimmed down bezels.

      • setspeed

        Sony would make a huge ugly glass and metal behemoth that I wouldn’t want

      • InfDaMarvel

        Please they would be fools to pick Sony. HTC and Samsung. Id go with HTC because they almost got it right.

      • TDN

        I am going to have to go with HTC or Motorola, if they go with a new manufacturer, or stay with LG one more time. Historically, such as it is, Google usually goes with one of the “smaller” manufacturers. I know that they have already worked with HTC previously, but I think that would be the best bet, especially with the rumored “Volantis” coming from HTC as well.

      • Guillaume

        HTC gets my vote

    • JBrowne1012

      HTC more than likely pay homage to the original Nexus.

    • Christian Naylor

      As long as there’s no invite system for this year’s Nexus, I’m all in.

      Who would be dumb enough to implement such a system?

    • Jusmepnut

      Although I’ve only owned one HTC phone which was the Dream. I would like to see what HTC comes up with for the Nexus after they came out with the M8.

  • Jordan

    I am stoked too… I think we could definitely be looking at Sony, they desperately need an infusion of enthusiast love.

  • scoter man1

    Gosh darn it, now my wallet is going to be $300+ lighter in November -.-

    Jk, HELL YEAH!

    • BigCiX

      I get a 4% pay raise in January so I’m ready for this.

      • lolwut

        Congrats, random Internet guy

        • BigCiX

          Why am I random

          • Guillaume

            I guess he meant he doesn’t care about your pay raise because he doesn’t know you.

    • chuckles87

      I make my last car payment in November so that will be an extra $500 in my pocket each month more than enough for a nexus 6

      • lordmerovingian

        Dang, your car payment is/was $500? What are you driving, big papi?

        • chuckles87

          Just a used Hyundai it’s just on a short term loan

  • http://www.newportessentials.com/ paco cornholio

    When each generation of Nexus attributes is soon adopted by a number of Android manufacturers, it looks for a while like there is no reason to continue with the Nexus line.

    But Google keeps shifting what Nexus means – Nexus One raised build quality and design standards, added voice recognition, etc., but was expensive. Nexus S added NFC and curved glass (didn’t stick). Galaxy Nexus was thin. Nexus 4 pushed low price while maintaining build quality. Nexus 5 pushed speed.

    Recent generations of Nexus phones no longer seem to enjoy hardware advantages over mass market phones (and trail in features like camera quality and expandable storage), but they still get Android OS updates out to the market for everyone to see and test. With Samsung balking at GPE versions, the Nexus line becomes more important for allowing this.

    With Android Silver and Android One initiatives I would expect Google to go back to experimenting with new hardware (Tango), but also continue with OS features that carriers will suppress from phones in these other programs. If so, expect Nexus prices to continue upward again.

  • Isaac

    Definitely glad that nexus is here to stay, but they should do something about the naming scheme for the future.

    • IVHorseMen

      Why? The numbers are simple.

      • Isaac

        Simple? Yes, but not a long term solution. The numbers matched fine until the Nexus 7 came along and threw it off. What will happen after the Nexus 6? The Nexus 7-3 phone?

        • IVHorseMen

          I see your point there.

        • JRomeo

          The 2012 Nexus7 was announced and then a different product with same name in 2013, the Nexus7 was announced again…. same name…. they could do the same with their phones, its not a big deal really…

      • JRomeo

        in 2012 the Nexus7 was announced. in 2013, the Nexus7 was announced again…. same name…. they could do the same with their phones, its not a big deal really…

  • PaulMonroeJr

    Well I’m just glad that I will be able to buy another Nexus branded phone when I’m officially done with my Nexus 5.

  • setspeed

    Well this has royally screwed up my plans.
    I was gonna get me the Moto X+1 when it comes out at the end of the summer, but if there’s gonna be another Nexus just a couple of months later, then I’d rather have that – so long as Google has implemented always-listening voice actions.
    And with the latest update to system wide ‘OK Google’ voice activation for Google Now then I think it’s very likely they’ll go the whole hog for the N6 (yes I know it doesn’t have a name yet but N6 is what I’m calling it until further notice).

  • lookatmyfunnyusername

    Lg is making the nexus 6. Which will be more of a nexus 5 than a lg g3 spinoff

    • Peter Barnett

      Alright, shows over folks! Just go ahead and release it LG. You’ve been found out by this guy right here.

      -_- You know nothing.

      • moopuna

        … Jon Snow

        • monkey god

          LoL. That was so obvious, but still so funny :)

  • JoeTi

    I might be reading into it a little, but could we assume Silver replaces GPE devices? That would be a better and simpler way to market GPE devices IMO.

  • ratnok

    Damn. I just placed my order for the OnePlus One 10 minutes ago.

    • SamLehman617

      Lucky bastard! If you have an invite to send…. ;)

      • ratnok

        They only give you one at a time (for now).

    • NYCHitman1

      That sucks. Wild horses couldn’t have dragged me to purchase that p.o.s.

      • ratnok

        I have Nexus 5 now, but every review I’ve seen, and every YouTube owner online has praised the OnePlus One. I don’t have it in my hands yet, but the only issue I have is the size. I’m worried that it will be too big, and if the N6 is based on the G3, then I will definitely be listing the One on EBAY.

    • JRomeo

      REFUND TIME……… the Nexus line is the best line….. get it.

      • No_Nickname90

        How so? I feel the OnePlus line is a good alternative to a Nexus device.

        • JRomeo

          the Nexus brand has proven itself for speedy future android updates, and it eliminates LAG caused by modified user interface… the OnePlus hasn’t proven itself yet.

          • ratnok

            The N6 will probably launch in November, so that gives me time to really determine what’s true. The battery life on my N5 (plus the fact that I bought the 16GB version instead of the 32 GB version) are the reasons I want a new phone.

          • JRomeo

            I bought the 32gb Nexus5, i’ll probaby sell it a month before the new one is released in november.

  • Jusmepnut

    Great news on my birthday

    • RobWild

      Happy Birthday!

    • No_Nickname90

      I think a phone I wanted was unveiled on my birthday or something. I don’t even remember.

      Anyways, Happy Birthday from Random Stranger #2.

  • phinn

    My vote: Go back to 4.7″ and OLED, 64-bit SoC, really thin bezels.

    • Guillaume

      …And add an SD card

      • No_Nickname90

        Add an SD card? Guess you don’t want a Nexus device.

      • samagon

        SD cards are so last decade. I bet you want a removable battery too.

        When I had a nexus 1, you know how many times I had to pull my battery, or was glad I had a SD card? never for the battery, but because the internal storage was so little for the phone, I was glad for the SD card. But I would have been gladder for more internal storage, and no SD card.

        When I had a Galaxy nexus, you know how many times I had to pull my battery, or wished I had a SD card? None. never. zilch. nada.

        You know how many times so far with my Nexus 5 I’ve wanted a SD card or removable battery? Never, none, zilch nada.

        What purpose would it serve? None, zilch, nada.

        Keep your SD card, keep your removable battery, I’ll take more internal storage, I would be happier with a higher capacity battery though.

        • Deeznutz_Yochin

          You’re an idiot. If micro sd was so last decade, then why are 128gb sd cards being manufactured??? Hmmm lemme think, o yeah because 128gb internal memory isn’t even available yet, plus it would cost a shyt ton of money to go that high with internal as opposed to the traditional expandable memory route, that’s common sense and basic economics….which clearly you have no clue about either.

          • rick slick

            Amen – microSD cards allow for instant swap of music, videos, and more. Plus if a phone gets bricked, that internal memory is gone forever. With a SD card, you can take it out, put it in another phone or PC, and save your media. SD cards are very beneficial and useful. Only idiots think they aren’t needed.

        • rick slick

          samagon – you’re an idiot. Just because you are useless, does not mean the rest of the world is useless. Who has use for you, you idiot?

    • malcmilli

      i couldnt care less about what type of screen it is, as long as its a good quality one. All the screen technologies are capable of looking great.

    • TheJunkie

      I second that. Though they should still make 5-6″ screens for women and our other fat friends.

  • ArmageddonX

    Can Confirm: Would buy 6″ Nexus Phone.

  • http://youtu.be/GvPlAyTG4ik?hd=1 1PhoneDoesnt.com

    I would rather have the Nexus Certification program that was rumored, more Nexus love and better chances on VZW lol

  • Carl Rood

    Just keep in mind that businesses don’t always tell the engineers their plans until the last moment.

    • samagon

      The guy in charge of the program will know. He says that they need the device to validate the code.

      Whether they need to sell it….

  • Ron Harris

    So the delay in hardware can be attributed to both the “L” release and possibly the switch to 64 bit architecture? Cuz I need a new tablet and phone, and want to stay with Nexus. Also has anyone else noticed the “Play” store is getting really thin on hardware, a lot of items are out of stock and have been for awhile

  • steveb944

    Praise the lord! Screw the Oneplus one then. Time to buy my dad a Moto while I wait for my Nexus 6 to give him the 5.

  • VI

    Sitting here and enjoying android l on my nexus 5 … And loving that I can repeat this bleeding edge policy into the foreseeable future.

    The only phone worth buying is an off contract nexus. Confirmed.

  • phinn

    Praise the sun