From the beginning, the Nexus line of devices were intended to showcase Google's vision for Android, not just with the software but how software and hardware work in harmony. That vision, however, has always been dependent on others', specifically device manufacturers, vision as well, which may or may not always completely align with what Google has in mind. Soon, however, Google might be taking matters into its own hands, somewhat. The latest insider tip is that Google wants to exert even more control over the design and manufacturing of Nexus devices, almost like how Apple does things.
To be specific, Google wants to be the one to decide on the components, contract them from outside sources, and then get someone to actually put them all together into a finished product. It will most likely have to settle for getting Samsung or LG or even Huawei to do the latter, but they won't get to put their brands on the devices like before. In theory, this would allow Google to finally execute its Nexus vision in full, without playing a game of chance with other OEMs.
It could, however, also unravel the Nexus program and undo the relationships Google has established with OEMs for years. One such OEM, namely HTC, is already said to be a bit disappointed at Google's plans. HTC has long vied to once again make a Nexus smartphone. Its last was the very first Nexus One smartphone, though it did have a brief stint in the Nexus tablet family. Now it seems that the dream is being snatched away from HTC, who could still be chosen to make the device but not advertise it as an HTC device.
On the one hand, this seems to go against the very legacy of the Nexus. Fans of the way Google does things often cite Apple's near tyrannical grip over the iPhone and its ecosystem. Now it would seem that Google actually wants to follow in those footsteps. On the other hand, such a change is almost expected. Traditionally, Nexus devices don't actually have spectacular sales numbers even if they receive critical reviews. Perhaps Google expects that more control over the device's features and manufacturing would help bolster sales. It seems to have taken inspiration from the Pixel C Android tablet in this regard.
The one respite that HTC and other interested OEMs might have is that the rumors don't have any timetable for this new direction. It will not likely happen this year, giving some of them a chance to make what could be the last OEM-made Nexus smartphone.
SOURCE: The Information