The Nexus line has always represented the optimal Android experience at the lowest cost. Google has proven that good specs and a great experience doesn’t require changing Android, and that stock Android can be an amazing thing, but Nexus devices aren’t the only ones running Stock Android, Google also has a program known as “Google Play Edition”. This takes ordinary consumer devices like the HTC One, Moto G and more, and puts stock Android on them. Sounds great right? It does, but that doesn’t mean it will ever replace the Nexus line.
So why does the Nexus line exist? Simply put the Nexus line is a set of devices that runs the latest software optimized for developers. These devices are sold for low prices and are unlocked for use on networks such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and more. These phones are the primary choice for app developers as well since they have easily unlockable bootloaders and Google hosts the original software just in case something goes wrong.
Why do Google Play Edition devices exist? These devices are similar to Nexus devices because they run the latest software, but the similarities are almost non-existent after that. Yes Google Play Edition devices run stock Android with unlockable bootloaders, but they are intended for the consumer. These devices are designed for developers only. Unlike Nexus devices which are typically sold for extremely low prices, Google Play Edition devices are sold at retail cost, which is typically almost double what a Nexus phone would cost. These devices are intended for developers. Companies make these devices because if a developer chooses to buy it and develops their app specifically for it, then there’s one more app in the Play Store specifically optimized for the regular that device.
So why is there any fear that the Nexus line will be replaced by Google Play Edition devices? There shouldn’t be. Google Play Edition devices aren’t meant for consumers in any way. The only reason people are scared that the Nexus line could go away is because Twitter user Elder Murtazin says that Google will discontinue the Nexus line in 2015 to be replace with Google Play Edition devices. This simply won’t happen. Google won’t drop their precious Nexus line in favor of Google Play Edition devices because they don’t have a say in what goes into Google Play Edition devices. With the Nexus line Google has nearly full control over the design and components of the phone. Why would they want to lose that?
Ben loves technology of all sorts but love Android most of all. He is the main writer on iTechTriad . You can catch him hanging out on Google+ and Twitter.