Google reportedly wants to control the hardware production of the Nexus lineup

Ian Hardy

February 1, 2016 2:30pm

Google is planning to have more say in the hardware design of its Nexus lineup, according to a report from The Information.

Google currently utilizes manufacturing partners such as HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG and Huawei to produce its devices, but CEO Sundar Pichai has reportedly stated that the intention is to ‘vertically integrate’ Nexus smartphones and tablets in a similar fashion to Apple’s relationship with Foxconn and the production of the iPhone and iPad.

If this shift is true, future entries in the Nexus lineup might only carry Google branding and will feature proprietary hardware. This could strengthen Android’s position in the race for OS market share, as well as attract new, high-end smartphone users. Google has already started the process of integrating hardware and software with the recent release of the Chromebook Pixel and Pixel C tablet.

The most recent Nexus smartphones, the LG-made Nexus 5X and Huawei-made Nexus 6P, are currently priced at $389 and $699 CAD, respectively.

Related reading: Nexus 5X Review

  • Vito R.

    As much as would love to see this happen, the logic behind it doesn’t make sense. “This could strengthen Android’s position in the race for OS market share, as well as attract new, high-end smartphone users.”

    First of all, Android already is the dominant mobile OS platform and it holds that spot because of CHEAP phones, not expensive ones. Secondly, Samsung makes pretty great expensive phones and already have the brand recognition that “Nexus” can only dream of. Lastly, whenever a Nexus launches at anything other than a bargain price people flip out. Good luck selling a “premium” Nexus – didn’t they learn anything from the Nexus 6 debacle?

    Google should just focus on making the software better and convincing their OEM “partners” to abandon their skins and instead include better value add software like Moto does.

    • Colin V

      Yup what he said.

    • vn33

      Agree! I think Google should concentrate on the “bang-for-buck” factor. Look at the mid-range segment, phones with better performance, this is the growth area IMHO. There will always be buyers for the premium flagship products, as will there be for starter/cheap phones. Many of us want somewhere in the middle where we can afford a decent phone without sacrificing too much.

    • neo905

      The high end part was editorializing by the author, not a quote from Google. All Google said is they want to be vertically integrated. They will still offer products at different price points. Besides. The 6p is high end in specs but not price relatively.

    • Vito R.

      I don’t think Google actually *said* anything, this is just a report. It was probably mentioned in the blog Ian read about this in – Ian is notorious for not crediting the sites he get his posts from – I’m willing to bet my next Nexus he didn’t stumble across it on his own while doing his daily perusing of “The Information” (subscription required). I question whether he even read the source article.

      There is some good info from Android Police summarizing the report.

  • AW Sudo

    Alphabet has already branched out to the mid-range segment (5X) and the premium 6P.

    It’s only logical to start stipulating how their phones should be spec’d (to maintain a pure Android experience). I am sure they have mined enough data to be aware of our preferences.

    • Vito R.

      They already spec out the phones and control details such as the type of screws that are used.

  • Allan

    Does anyone know if Google is releasing a successor to the Nexus 5X this year? Any rumors?

  • koconor100

    First , it’s pretty normal for successful companies to eat their own food chain. Google needs a lot of routers, google starts making it’s own routers rather than buying them elswhere. Google needs actual phone hardware, google starts making actual phone hardware, money in their pocket not someone elses.

    Second, making a luxury phone when you’re known for cheap phones ? Probably a bad business decision , yes.

    third. An american corperation pushing hardware ? With their routers already hacked ? Yep. those google phones are going to come pre-pwned by the nsa, you can bet your bottom dollar on it.