Google's Nexus program is a push back against Apple and Microsoft greed, an Android exec has argued, describing Motorola Mobility as a way to "disarm" attacks on the OS rather than segue into hardware. "There are players in the industry who were unhappy about more competitive pricing for the consumers" John Lagerling, director of Android business development, told Bits, pointing to the relatively affordable Nexus 4 as an example of how Google is shaking up the smartphone and tablet space, and relying on Motorola for patent ammunition should the search giant get called out in court.
"There are players in the industry who were unhappy about more competitive pricing for the consumers. They want to keep the prices high, they want to force the price to be so high that operators have to subsidize the devices very highly. That’s not only the Cupertino guys but also for the guys up in Seattle. They want higher margins, they want to charge more for software" John Lagerling, Google
As Lagerling sees it, Google's expensive acquisition of Motorola Mobility isn't to give the company an edge in producing Android devices in-house. Instead, Motorola's design team is treated just as all the other Android-using manufacturers: if they want to make a Nexus, they have to bid for it like everyone else.
"They stand where Sharp would stand, or Sony would stand or Huawei would stand" he explained. "From my perspective as a partnership director, they are another partner. We are really walled between the Motorola team and the Android team. They would bid on doing a Nexus device just like any other company."
Whether Google can, with the $299 Nexus 4, do what it attempted with the original Nexus One and bypass the carriers by instead selling unlocked, SIM-free handsets direct, remains to be seen. According to Lagerling, "Nexus One was very early" and the recent success of the Nexus 7 in opening consumer eyes to devices bearing the Google brand will see the Nexus 4 do markedly differently.
There's more on the Nexus 4 in our full review.