Google's Nexus brand has come a long way since the introduction of the Nexus One way back in January of 2010. Five phones, three tablets, and an ill-fated media streaming player later, it seems the Nexus name may soon reach the end of the line. According to the latest rumors, the Nexus 5 could be one of the last Nexus-branded phones we see from Mountain View.
Word comes from Eldar Murtazin, who tweeted early this morning that the Nexus line would wrap up in 2015. In its place will be the Play Edition phones that several smartphone makers had launched in the last year.
Every year we're treated to a new Nexus phone running the latest version of stock Android. As expected, 2013 gave us the Nexus 5. However, it also gave us a handful of other popular smartphones running stock Android. Each of these devices carried the 'Google Play Edition' branding alongside the regular manufacturer and model name. These handsets included the HTC One Google Play Edition, the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition, the Moto G Google Play Edition, and the Xperia Z Ultra Google Play Edition.
The move would eliminate Google's need to commit to working with a single manufacturer for each Nexus device. Though Mountain View isn't deadly loyal to one specific manufacturer (the Nexus smartphones have been made by HTC, Samsung, LG over the years), it does limit itself somewhat by only offering one phone each year. Not only that, but it leaves little choice for the consumer. Moving away from Nexus and towards Google Play Editions of already popular smartphones isn't a bad idea in that regard. Where it will matter is price. Over the last couple of years, Google's Nexus line of tablets and smartphones have been priced incredibly competitively, and users have been drawn to stock Android at an affordable price. What will happen if manufacturers are pricing the devices?