Nexus devices from multiple manufacturers on the way
Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google plans to get in bed with as many as five manufacturers for the next generation of Nexus devices.
Google is apparently planning to expand the Nexus range with several devices and in addition to phones, we should also see Nexus branded tablets for the first time. The move is not surprising, as Google already revived its direct sale channel already this year, but this is the first time we are hearing that up to five devices could be on the way.
The move would allow Google to exert more control over the look and feel of the devices, namely custom user interfaces, but more importantly it would reduce the influence of wireless carriers on such devices.
This seems like a foolproof, yet quite elaborate and costly way of reducing fragmentation. Nexus devices would be the first ones to get Android updates and furthermore it could make vanilla Android a bit more widespread, something Sense and ToucWiz haters will be glad to hear.
The big question has more to do with pennies than hardware. Quite a few users opt for long wireless plans and heavily subsidized phones, especially in the US. Google would have to come up with relatively affordable devices, or payment models that would compensate for the difference.