A new report from Korean news source Chosun gives a little back story on the name of Google’s latest smartphone, the Nexus 5. According to sources, LG pushed on Google to name the device the Nexus G in a nod to the device’s connection to the LG G2 smartphone which the Nexus 5 is loosely based on. LG apparently suggested to Google that Samsung was provided with this kind of consideration when they produced Nexus devices, the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus. Google resisted and eventually denied the request from LG, opting to stick with Nexus 5.
The report does not indicate when these discussions took place or when the final decision to go with Nexus 5 was made by Google. It could be Google wanted to stick with Nexus 5 as both a recognition of the smartphone’s position as fifth in line as well as in connection with Android 5.0. For much of the past year, many thought the next version of Android after 4.3 was going to be the 5.0 version going by the Key Lime Pie moniker. It would have made sense to have Android 5.0 running on a Nexus 5 from a marketing standpoint. As we all know, that changed when Google partnered with KitKat for naming rights to the operating system, although it is not clear whether the current version was really going to be 5.0 or was always on the path to being the Android 4.4 that we are all trying to get our hands on.
At the end of the day, LG lost out on the opportunity to make a subtle connection between Google’s success with the Nexus line and their own flagship devices marketed under the “G” name.