Rumor: Everyone will be allowed to make Nexus devices, but there are certain rules

by: ŠtefanOctober 4, 2012

Chances are that if you love Android, then you love Nexus hardware. What’s a Nexus exactly? It’s Android the way Google intended it to look. No Samsung TouchWiz, no HTC Sense, no Sony Timescape, just pure Google software. The first Nexus device, made by HTC, was called the Nexus One; it came out in January 2010. The second Nexus device, made by Samsung, was called the Nexus S; it came out in December of the same year. In two weeks we’re going to celebrate the one year birthday of the third Nexus device, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Now the Nexus 7 is technically a Nexus device, just look at the name, but it’s a tablet.

The question on everyone’s mind right now is when will Google announce the next Nexus smartphone? Earlier this week we heard a rumor that said LG’s Optimus G was going to become the next Nexus, and that it’ll be officially unveiled by the end of this month. Today we have some more details to share about that. First, the date has changed. The next Nexus will be announced in November, not October. Second, the official name of the phone will be the “LG Optimus G Nexus”. That’s a mouthful!

And finally third, the best news of all, is that the Nexus program will be opened to everyone. Anyone will be allowed to make Nexus hardware, but there are several rules that companies must adhere to. Obviously they’re not going to be allowed to skin Android. They will however be permitted to make a skin available in the new “Customization Center”. New Nexus devices will also be required to have 64 MB of secure memory, for streaming purposes. That means Google will be heavily pushing people to buy content from the Google Play Store. There are also some additional hardware requirements, but we don’t know what those are at the current moment. Rumor also has it that Android 5.0, the next “major” version of Android, will land in the second half of 2013.

Is this stuff credible? It could be, but as always, take rumors with a pinch of salt.

Update: DigiTimes says manufacturers will have control over the specs and appearance of their hardware. Google just wants to make sure that said hardware runs stock Android.

  • yarrellray

    Sounds great but for me the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be king of all android devices. No Nexus device will ever compare..

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      Hard to come to that conclusion when we know absolute nothing about the next Nexus devices.

    • Xeltos

      True in current hardware context, (LG has better but noone cares for LG anyway). Only if TouchWiz was removable.. I HATE TOUCHWIZ.

      • Stefan Constantinescu

        Everyone does.

        • I don’t…
          I can see why some people hate it though I don’t.
          And note without touchwiz = no S-pen features.

  • Mahesh

    Whoever the manufacturer is, we hope the Processing speed,LTE download/Upload speed and camera quality are on par with iPhone 5 , if not more than iPhone5(Except the purple haze in iPhone camera)

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      I’d like to think that people buy Android devices for reasons other than the spec sheet wars.

      • LOL

      • Mahesh

        Believe me I’m not in for spec sheet wars. I’m hellbent on Android but it is always better to learn Good and bad from the competitors.

    • I disagree. I hope they surpass it (again) so that when iPhone6 comes out, they will be playing catchup… again.

      • Mahesh

        @facebook-100001191324174:disqus Android are ahead in thousand things and more than iPhone but We’ve to admit on certain things about speed. Most of the tests in youtube (done by Android fans) are supporting the processing speed, LTE /wifi downloading speed of iPhone5 is better than the latest gadgets of Android. We all know iPhone camera is better(except Samsung s3 no other Android phone can beat it ).. Before you call me any thing, I have Nexus one, Nexus S, Nexus 7

  • Optimus Nexus sounds cool.

    • Jei Arc

      I think they should all be branded Nexus ***** this will show of the Nexus brand (i.e. Google) and the the manufacturer brands, like Nexus Optimus, Nexus Galaxy :O, Nexus X, Nexus Experia, and so forth. I think that will create a clear difference between the Nexus brand and the manufacturer brand. and it will be a little less confusing. IMO

      • Erin Looney

        That’s brilliant, you should work for Google!

        Google can leverage the Nexus brand to solve almost every major problem Android faces today, and get more control over the operating system. That way it can have its cake and eat it too… that is, give the world an open source OS and yet, still control the OS through its branding rights. Can you see the marketing yet? “Nexus® = True Android.”

        I propose also, that the brand “Nexus” not be allowed to get cheapened or brand damaged by device makers who make crappy Nexuses Therefore, other requirements to boost and preserve the brand, such as:

        1. At the time of launch, within the top 10% of devices at the time for processor performance benchmarks.

        2. At the time of launch, able to access the best communications protocol (e.g., has to have 4G LTE if it’s on AT&T, etc.)

        3. Must be a leader in onboard storage (requirement changes over time, of course, as storage technology gets better).

        4. Must be among leaders in display resolution, i.e., meet certain minimum requirements in PPI (pixels per inch)

        5. Must strive to be beautiful and excellent in industrial design and aesthetics — how to get a subjective thing like this controlled is possible (be it a board, a committee, a vote that has to be passed, or just proof that extra resources were put specifically into this special area with a specialist).

  • Xeltos

    There should be also one thing. All other manufacturers should be made to make skinning removable. I would love if the TouchWiz or Sense UI can be removed at will without rooting. That will also make updates faster.

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      Maybe that’ll happen with this new “Customization Center” feature. I wish I knew more about it!

  • spectremANDROID

    This is EXACTLY what I wanted to hear!!! I think Android is set for another MAJOR boost when this occurs and the OEM’s who have traditionally and incessantly pushed their Custom User Interfaces are going to be a bit surprised. I’m certainly going to jump on this…

    …if my manufacturer of choice isn’t timid with the device specs and doesn’t commit a major SNAFU on the device design, that is.

    FINALLY!!! Some GENUINELY exciting NEXUS news!

    THANK YOU!!!

  • George Koklas

    If this is true, it could very well mean the end of fragmentation for Android. Fingers crossed.

    • I don’t think so… But it maybe will minimize that fragmentation.

      It is almost impossible end the fragmentation in an universe of so many possible devices, with no restriction of hardware. One OEM can launch a device today, that is incompatible with JB’s hardware requirements.

  • I don’t think secure memory is a new requirement

  • DL1119

    1.) hardware guidelines
    2.) all variants use the same stock Android rom (no skin)
    3.) removed company logo (except “Nexus”)


  • True_Neutral

    Two things:

    Open bootloader
    Sources for everything in the phone

    It’s probably implied that being a Nexus means that Google will take that of updates, but Google should state this explicitly.

  • This is really great news! I’ve been told that they should do this for years!! Finally someone with a big d**k there, reached the same conclusion that many Android fans have arrived long ago.

    But, if this really became true, I doubt we will see many manufactures launching Nexus devices this year. It’s not really bad. This new Nexus’s policy will be more well received when Google release the next major release of Android. And I don’t expect they will launch 2 Android versions in the same year.