Sure, LG created the revered Nexus 5, HTC whipped up the excellent Nexus 9 tablet, and more recently, Huawei launched the slick, powerful Nexus 6P. But, in the near future, Google could soon yank the controls away from its Nexus partners and take the rein all by itself.
Droid Life reported that the decision, which was made internally by Google CEO Sundar Pichai and sent to certain "colleagues and outsiders", states that Google wants to take "Apple-like" control over the line of flagship products in the future.
This method, which would place the duties of designing the hardware and implementing a stock Android experience solely in the hands of Google, differs drastically from its current protocol.
In the past, the Mountain View, CA-based company has entrusted several leading manufacturers to put their own spin on the cream of the Android crop. And, in quite a few instances, that trust has paid off. But if this statement from Google's CEO is indeed true, no one's fingers will be in the Nexus pot except for Google itself.
The likelihood that Google's CEO uttered the words "Apple-like" in an internal memo is a bit on the unbelievable side, but nevertheless, the approach could have a positive impact on the Nexus program. With each new Nexus device, the design gets totally changed up by the company responsible for that year's device. While it allowed Google and the others involved to iterate on different smartphone designs, the fast cycle limited the ability of any one of them to stick in the public's mind.
On the other hand, aside from minor tweaks, the look of Apple's iPhone lineup has remained largely the same over the years. Say what you will about Apple's reluctance to give its design a serious shake, but sticking with a few core design ideas has done the company a lot of good, namely that it helped the iPhone remain recognizable on the whole, which keeps people buying.
Google's Pixel C could have very well been the starting point for the company's new initiative to lock down its hardware developments, and it was a good one, at that. But we'll be watching closely to see what Google does next with its Nexus program, and if this decision will impact the rumored Nexus device said to be coming out of HTC this year.
Via Droid Life
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Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.