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