Is Motorola A Shoe-In For the Next Google Nexus Device? Not According to Google


If you thought that because Motorola Mobility will soon be owned by Google Inc. that it would make the OEM a shoe-in for future Nexus devices — that may not be the case at all. Andy Rubin added some clarification on this subject during the company’s conference call earlier today and explained just how Google chooses the next Nexus device (queue angelic music). Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:

Google Nexus Program

We have this strategy where we have this Nexus program and we have this lead device strategy. That strategy has worked quite well to help focus the team. What we do — around christmas time of each year — is we select a manufacturer that we work very closely with to release a device in that timeframe.

That includes also semiconductor companies and all the components that go into the device. Essentially teams huddle together in one building, they jointly work in these development efforts, they go on for 9 to 12 months, and ultimately at the holiday season or right before it, devices pop out that are based on this effort.

We don’t expect that to change at all. The acquisition is going to be run as a separate business, they will be part of that bidding process and part of that lead development process. And obviously Android remains open to other partners to use as they are today.

The funny thing about Android is the competition that exists within the manufacturers who license the OS. Even with this announcement, I’m sure there is a little doubt or skepticism going on the back of Sony Ericsson, Samsung, HTC and LG’s head and who could blame them. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out. What do you guys think? Any of you relieved to hear Andy Rubin’s process for choosing Nexus devices will remain unchanged? Who are you rooting for to build the next Nexus device?

[Via TIMN]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. HTC got 1, Samsung got 1, time for Motorola.

  2. Personally i think this is a fair way to do this my only hope is that google makes motorola start pushing out more vanilla phones especially when ice cream sandwich is released to multiple carriers and not just verizon

    1. Not just “more vanilla”, how about ONLY vanilla ^_^. Death to Burr!

      1. blur will not die they will enhance it

        1. God I hope you’re wrong, but I really dislike Blur and Sense, I ALWAYS thought end-users should have the option to either switch to Vanilla or uninstall the layer completely.

          1. You Might Have your wish

    2. and i can not agree with you more bout on more networks

  3. Htc!!!

  4. Samsung. 4.5 Super AMOLED plus HD, TI 1.5ghz dual core, Ice cream sandwich. 1536mb RAM. 8mega pixel dual led flash with 1080p 24-30fps.. 44000khz video/sound.. 2 mega pixel FFC. NFC. Please :)

    1. Almost got it! Samsung. 4.5 Super AMOLED plus HD, Nvidia Kal-el Quad Core, Ice cream sandwich, 1.5 – 2gb ram, 8 megapixel dual led flash with 1080p 30fps+ NFC. As long as we are dreaming.. :)

      1. Ice Cream Sandwich with neapolitan. o_O

        1. Heh, Neapolitan would be the ability to change the highlight colour (finally).

      2. sadly they started making the new nexus last year so its highly unlikely that a processor coming out in the winter will make it on :( no quad core for nexus… just yet

        1. You might be right… but they could have easily been planning on a future chip’s release schedule. Just as they did to release Honeycomb tablets… We do know that Nvidia has been working with Google on ICS for the past year. We really won’t know what is in the phone until the phone comes out though.

      3. Almost got it #2! Samsung. 4.5″ SAMOLED (720p, and no 3D), NVidia Kal-El QuadCore, ICS, 2G RAM, HQ 8MP dual-led flash w/ vidrec @ 1080p 24-30fps, any decent FFC, NFC, 32G internal, AND… an external micro SDXC slot (not SDHC), AND a very small bezel with no hardware buttons.

        PERFECT (for 2012).

  5. But if you think about, the next Nexus might be Moto. Only Moto uses OMAP so I think the probability is high.

    1. LG use it too.

    2. LG also uses OMAP in some phones.

      And I’d like to see LG make the upcoming nexus phone, so they can get their shit together for future phones.

    3. Yea….way before this deal I always had it in my mind it could be Motorola cuz of the OMAP.

      Also like some ppl mentioned…LG uses it too. I was gonna say I cant see Samsung using it…but there might be U.S. GS2 phones with a Snapdragon so anythings possible.

  6. One point to be made here though is that the next Nexus device has already been decided…. it was decided Christmas last year so if it IS Motorola, that decision predated this announcement and maybe (I mean only they know) predates conversations and negotiations. What you want to keep your eye on if you’re worried about the competitiveness of the Nexus process is the 2012 Nexus (Nexus Armageddon? Nexus Apocalypse? ). If the 2011 Nexus happens to be a Moto device it has very little, if anything, to them owning them at the time.

    1. Ooo Nexus Apocolypto…. might as well allow Mel Gibson onto the gravy train that is “suing Android”.

  7. lol vanilla moto device is an oxy-moron

    1. Except you know, that pesky Droid device that helped vault the whole Android craze….

    2. Tell that to Virgin Mobile.

  8. I don’t get why it’s such a big secret not to publicly announce the handset manufacturer and the semiconductor company? It’s already been decided so why does it matter. Even if they wait 6 months into their Nexus round, that gives them the certainty that things are unlikely to change while giving consumers something to look forward to.

    1. Because all the people “in the know” need time to unsuspiciously buy some stock in the chosen company before the announce it ;)

  9. I’ve always loved Motorola hardware. I’m very excited to see what these two amazingly innovative companies get together and make some fantastic new designs. now finally hoping to see some unlocked boot loaders!

  10. Great news….I wouldn’t mind it being a motorola device, but options are often a good thing :)

  11. Just as I thought, the Prime has been in development for many months already. They picked the manufacturer back in December according to this information. Doubt it will be Motorola but anythings possible.

  12. If Google are smart – and they are – they’ll be throwing some nice juicy bones to their major partners right about now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see multiple partnership created devices roll out over the course of the next year. Also expect each of the big dogs to be given early code access to the next few Android builds.

    1. I agree. I don’t see what the point of having only 1 Nexus phone per year is at all. I’d like to see every Android manufacturer have at least 1 if not more current Nexus phones available, preferably that work on all carriers (it’s getting easier to do this lately – if Apple can do it, so can Android).

      Also if Google is smart, they will open up code development a lot more so there will be no need to have special arrangements with one particular company to do a Nexus phone – all companies should have access to developing source code for the next version. Of course having some requirements for what companies can offer and still claim it is a Google Experience phone (or whatever buzz term they want to use) is fair game.

      1. I think I see where you’re going with this but I have to disagree;

        In my opinion the whole draw of the Nexus line is to have something designed to the core by Google, which would #1 get android updates in a very timely fashion and #2 be a device you can nearly count on to be (at least very close to) the top of the heap.

        Almost in iPhone manner, but in a good way. But to be honest I’m still a little disappointed that both devices weren’t available on all carriers, especially since it’s such a high initial cost to purchase them ‘off-contract’.

        1. When I was talking about requirements in order to claim Google experience, part of what I was thinking of was your # 2 – top notch hardware. I agree that there is no point in low or mid level phones being called Nexus. But I don’t see why Google can’t write a requirements document that also makes your # 1 achieved using multiple models across manufactures, all of which get their updates at the same time (since they all use exactly the same code and have very uniform drivers). I stand by my point that both users and Google could benefit by a simultaneous choice of Nexus phone from Samsung, HTC, Sony, (and others) as well as Motorola.

  13. To make google’s point, Acer is making the next nexus;)
    Worse yet, it could be Asus’s first entry into the market.

  14. My prediction? Google renames ‘Motorola Mobility’ to ‘Nexus Mobile.’

    They can’t really keep the name as Moto, can they?

  15. So any word on we get the nexus prime/Ice Cream sandwhich preview event. (they should have showed it off at i/o

  16. Actually, I think it would make more sense for Moto to manufacture Nexus phones from here out. As a consumer, it makes more sense to me that one OEM produce a certain brand. I also don’t see why the other OEM’s would care, so long as they continue to receive the same level of support that they have received for their own brands in the past. I imagine Samsung, LG, HTC, etc have enjoyed sales irregardless of who had a Nexus phone out on any given year…

    I’ve had two Android phones… neither a Nexus. So I think it’s a non issue.

  17. Everybody’s already covered what I was gonna say, so this is all I got:

    *It’s “shoo-in”, not “shoe-in”.*


    (Why yes, I do have too much free time on my hands today…why do you ask?)

  18. I think that Moto/Google should create a new line of phones.. “The Motorola Defense” … yeah, yeah, I know.. but you’ll be using it.

  19. If I was to trust ONE company and ONLY one company, It would be Google. Google is the ONLY company in it’s class that has time and time proven that they’re not just a bunch of douchebags looking for ways to stuff the customer. They have fought for their customers and their privacy (China), and truly abide by their “do no evil’ policy.
    If Google says their ‘Nexus’ policy & procedure won’t change, then it won’t.

    The acquisition was simply a way to tell the trolls out there to shut the F up and litigate THIS. It’s MicroShaft and Apphole that should be worried about this acquisition, not Android partners.

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