Earlier today when I announced the Google acquisition of Motorola, I speculated that Motorola would probably be making the Nexus phones from now on. It seems only natural since Google and Motorola will now be partners which will “supercharge the Android echosystem.”
Android chief Andy Rubin does not expect any changes with the Nexus program. He said:
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 is that we select each — around Christmastime of each year — we select a manufacturer that we work very closely with to release a device in that time frame. That includes, also, semiconductor companies and all of the components that go in the device.
Essentially the teams huddle together in one building. They jointly work in these development efforts — they go on for nine 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.
This could be just “window dressing” so the other manufacturers don’t feel slighted, but it is very likely that what Andy is saying will hold. There is no question that this acquisition is rocking the Android world, especially for the other competitors. Google does not want to upset all of these OEMs that helped make Android the most dominant mobile OS in the world.
I may have been wrong in my speculation, but honestly, I will be pleasantly surprised if it happens. It has been rumored that Motorola was not even in the running, not to mention this deal probably won’t close until late this year or after the Nexus gets released. Even if they were going to only allow Motorola to make the Nexus moving forward, it would make sense to release this year’s version with another manufacturer.
With all that said, I do find it interesting that Andy mentions that the manufacturer is selected around Christmastime and the process is 9 to 12 months. That information is not really necessary to share. Could it be that Motorola is going to be the company for this year, and he is just making it “clear” that they weren’t chosen because of the acquisition? I still think it is a longshot, and we will soon find out more.
One thing Andy did make clear is that we can expect to see the Nexus Prime at the end of the year. Some have speculated that it could be released by October, but he clearly stated the holiday season.
So Motorola may or may not be making the Nexus moving forward, but a good source tells me stock Android phones are in the future regardless. Google says that Motorola will be on its own, but seriously folks, Google is going to own Motorola. Do we really think they are not going to be involved? Stock Android is what we have been crying for, and we will get it. Maybe we won’t see a Droid Nexus in the near future, but we could see a Droid Stock or a Droid Vanilla. I will take it.
[via ac for the quote]