The Uphill Battle Concerning The Future Of Android's Nexus Program
We all know Google is currently in the works with ASUS to unveil a new high-end tablet experience as a possible 7inch Nexus tablet sometime this year for the $149-$199 price range. Andy Rubin of Google expressed how the company is going to strike again to make a dent in the tablet market this year. With 2012 being Android's fourth annual launch of their Nexus phone, the past few devices in the program seemed to have strayed away from the original mission of the Nexus. The Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus have been more like a new devices with the latest OS rather than Android's latest flagship devices. With the addition of tablet arriving, where is the future of the Nexus program heading and is it the proper direction?
Let's start at the beginnings of Google's Nexus program, shall we? Google wanted to originally offer a pure Android experience free of any tinkering by the carrier and sold by Google online at an unsubsidized price. Google's selection process would include phone makers wooing them until they select one who will showcase Android's latest OS with the best handset. The entire process can take up to 9 to 12 months. HTC was the first manufacturer of the Nexus program with the Nexus One running Android 2.1 back in January 2010. Then Samsung providing the next two devices with the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus available only from a specific carrier(s).
Fast forward to the present, with the onslaught of various Android smartphones and tablets from various manufacturers (ASUS, Acer, Huawei, HTC, LG, Motorola, Pantech, Samsung, Sony, & ZTE) the Nexus standard now needs to be higher. Google has the opportunity to make the Nexus brand a high-end Android experience since the rollout of software updates are more of hostage negotiation while consumers suffer for those who buy other Android devices. Apple already offers it with the iPhone and Nokia recently offer its with the Lumia 800/900 series with Microsoft & Windows Phone. Google needs to maintain this with its Nexus program or else it will turn into just another Android device. It would have been nice if they perfected the program before moving on to tablets where Android is having trouble selling in high numbers. But with Google working with ASUS, hopefully they can produce something more than just Google-branded, 7inch Transformer slate. Everyone knows its all about the overall experience. High-end specs are great but they need to be actually useful to the everyday consumer or else its falling on deaf ears. HTC did a great job with the One series, using it as they own kind of high-end Galaxy series. Hopefully which ever manufacturer gets the job of making the next Nexus phone or tablet can push the envelope for an improved experience. I pray they don't move onto netbooks or laptops and keep it simply mobile, at least until they get their act together. Godspeed and good luck Google, you are gonna need it.