All the signs were there, and now we have confirmation: With the release of the Pixel phones, Google has officially discontinued the Nexus line. It was a memorable six-year run.
The internet giant didn’t announce this bit of news during its “Made by Google” event for obvious reasons, but journalists in attendance were still able to squeeze out the company’s confirmation. By ditching its once-flagship series, owners of the year-old Nexus 6P and 5X are left in the dark.
A lot of questions are raised: Will Nexus devices still receive timely Android updates down the line? Will they get updates at the same time as Pixel phones? Will Google’s new Assistant software come to the Nexus 6P, at least? None of these have answers yet.
On the other hand, the decision makes sense. The Nexus lineup has always been Google’s way of teaching third-party manufacturers how to implement Android the right way. Now that the Pixel and Pixel XL pretty much do the same thing, there’s no more room for a secondary brand.
Some will argue that the Nexus phones could have been relegated to the midrange category, but looking at Google’s current hardware strategy, it’s obvious how Apple-like the Mountain View company wants to be. It’s either go Pixel or go home.
It’s still quite sad, really. The Nexus program had several groundbreaking devices for their time. It all began in 2010 with the HTC-produced Nexus One, followed by iterations from Samsung (Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, and Nexus 10), LG (Nexus 4, 5, and 5X), ASUS (Nexus 7 and Nexus Player), Motorola (Nexus 6), Huawei (the most recent Nexus 6P), and another HTC in the form of the Nexus 9 tablet.
That’s a solid group of brands to work with, but Google is now looking the other way in order to hoard all the glory for itself. HTC is once again the maker of the company’s latest pair of smartphones, and yet, there’s no logo in sight other than Google’s prominent G.
By having full control of the designing and manufacturing process, the search specialist can be taken seriously as a force in the hardware realm, as well. The timing seems perfect, with Apple’s super-special anniversary iPhone coming out next year.