Back in January, a report surfaced online claiming that Google was planning on discontinuing its Nexus lineup. While the improbability of the information meant that the buzz soon died down, seems like it was closer to the truth than expected. The Information reports that Google is indeed planning on discontinuing its Nexus program and replacing it with a premium Android ‘Silver’ program.
The Silver program is said to be Google’s initiative wrest control of the Android ecosystem from the likes of tier-one companies like Samsung. With the Korean company’s smartphones running on a highly modified version of Android, Google feels customers aren’t getting the real Android experience. Through this program, Google also wants more people to have access to the pure Android experience.
As a part of this program, Google will ask its partners to build devices that meet the criteria set by the search giant. These criteria include limiting the number of pre-installed apps, allowing users to uninstall these pre-installed apps and lastly ensuring these devices are the first to get the Android software updates. Google will also help its partners to add premium features like personalized voice recognition and water-proofing among others.
The report adds that unlike the Nexus devices which are only available online, Google will be selling its Silver devices in brick-and-mortar stores to reach a far wider audience. It will also pool in as much as $1 billion to promote Silver devices through ad campaigns and through in-store displays and kiosks with trained employees.
Initially the list of partners includes LG and Motorola, while some Chinese companies too are said to have shown interest in this program. However, tier-one companies like HTC, Sony and Samsung, who have spent a lot of resources on developing their own Android skins, are not too keen.
It will be interesting to see how people accept the new Silver program, considering the popularity of the Nexus lineup. The publication adds that Google will kick off the Silver project in markets like the US, Germany and Japan, while emerging markets will follow soon after.