The Nexus lineup from Google is one of the most popular brands for the Android ecosystem, with decent hardware paired with a no-frills OS build. According to the latest rumours, Google is looking to invest more into their Nexus hardware and take greater control over the design and building. Right now, Nexus devices are built-in partnership with OEMs like LG, Motorola, Huawei, HTC and Samsung.
While Google taking on more control to do they feel best with the Nexus brand is no surprise, the rumours suggest that Google will go far as an “Apple-like” approach. In fact, the report suggests that Google wants to bring in all the design work itself and simply issue orders to the OEMs, just like Apple does to Foxconn. This means the OEMs will become glorified hardware partners only there to handle the manufacturing side of things.
Google is understandably conflicted over such a change, as it could alienate their hardware vendors which want their own input and branding associated with the phone. On the other hand, Apple has been steadily growing and Google wants more control over the Android ecosystem in order to better compete. Google already has considerable input into how Nexus devices are designed and built though so this may not be such a drastic change.
For this new Nexus device, Google is reportedly looking get HTC, one of their weaker and likely more desperate OEM partner, to build the device. HTC has recently been struggling to sell phones and probably needs as much help as they can get. Unfortunately, HTC won’t get any branding for the new Nexus and Google will be taking a big cut of the sales price. Whether this works for HTC and Google and how other Android partners react remains to be seen.