October 2, 2012

Could There Be More Than One New Google Nexus?

It has been nearly a year since Google unleashed its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy Nexus. After a rather quiet period of Android news, with the iPhone 5 getting most of the attention, rumors have started to circulate again about one or more Nexus devices coming in October.

Google’s Nexus line of phones began in 2010 with the release of the Nexus One. The purpose has been to create a benchmark device with the highest capabilities of Android. They all have shipped with a stock version of Android, free of carrier or manufacturer software modifications.

The Nexus brand has since expanded into a larger line of devices. Google now sells the unlocked Galaxy Nexus on its Play store, and the Nexus 7 tablet. The Nexus Q media streamer was briefly for sale earlier this year, before being pulled after lackluster reviews.

Much of the speculation now is that Google may have worked with several hardware partners to release multiple Nexus phones. It would be an intriguing move at reaching a wider swath of consumers.

Android has changed substantially in just this last year. Google’s mobile operating system was once the mainstay of hardcore gadget geeks who wanted to customize their phones and load them up with ROMs. Android wasn’t pretty, but it had nearly limitless extendability. This has been especially true of the Nexus phones, which come with an unlocked bootlocker for true hackers and tinkerers.

That rabid Android community will always be there, but Google must cast a wider net to capture the average user. Many low-end Android phones are loaded up with bloatware, unreliable, and offer a subpar experience. It seems for every great Android device, there are five more that are rushed out the door for those consumers who are just looking for a cheap phone. Now that the iPhone 4 can be had for free on contract, this is not a formula for getting people to go with Google.

A group of pure Google phones running the excellent Jelly Bean would be a compelling alternative to those who are bored with iOS.

Image Credit: Google Nexus

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