How would you breathe new life into the Nexus brand?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
The other day, I asked you, Dear Reader, if you thought the RAZR name had already been washed away, much like the DROID brand, with the recent unveiling of three new devices. In that particular article, near the end, I mentioned the Nexus brand off-handedly, and pointed out that even Google's flagship brand has been muddied. Sure, the GSM, international version isn't bad, but it isn't the only model that exists.
So, as a natural evolution of that same conversation we were having over the weekend, I want to put a bit more of a focus on Google's developer-centric device brand.
First, let me get this out of the way: I agree with Taylor when he says that Google should never release a carrier-branded Nexus device ever again. If you're someone who never really bought into the whole "carrier-branding leads to issues for the consumer," then, well, hopefully that's been put to rest. Just look at which devices are getting updates, when they got them, and which device *still doesn't have an update.* That should put any hesitation to rest.
But, unlike the DROID, RAZR, or most any other brand names that have been beaten down into the ground recently, I think the Nexus name can be saved. I think there's still a chance that Google, and whichever manufacturer (or manufacturers) the search giant decides to give the baton to this time around, can turn things around.
And, surprisingly enough, it would be done by releasing several different devices, instead of just slightly different versions of only one model.
Specifically, this would be done in the exact same way that I think other companies, like Motorola, have ruined their name brands: offering so many different choices right out of the gate.
There's a difference, though. See, in the case of Motorola and Verizon with the announcement of the DROID RAZR M, DROID RAZR HD, and the DROID RAZR MAXX HD, there is absolutely no reason why the DROID RAZR HD even needs to exist. None. It's a pointless device, and just serves to show that Motorola and Verizon decided to launch *three different devices* instead of scaling back, and just focusing on releasing devices that would actually matter.
Anyway. The Nexus. Do you remember a ways back when there was a rumor floating around that there would be multiple devices released this year with the Nexus brand? I can see why some people out there would be a little disheartened by that, because there's a strong chance that out of five devices, at least one of them isn't even worth taking a second look at. That's a reasonable fear, I'll admit.
But, this is where the chance to make something of the Nexus name comes into play. See, I think if Google is going to release several different Nexus devices this year, then allowing multiple manufacturers to construct their best products only makes sense. No, strike-out "allow" and, Google, put your foot down and "make" these manufacturers create the best smartphone they can, showcasing hardware *and* whatever version of Android you want the devices to run out of the box.
I think we'd see some impressive devices from all the players. Samsung? We'd see top-tier hardware with a huge display -- probably the biggest out of all the competition. HTC? A strong focus on the build quality of the device, while making sure the display was beautiful and worth looking at. Motorola? A unique hardware design, which would look even better with stock Android running the show.
The Nexus name is the one brand that I believe can actually improve, if not completely redeem itself, by releasing a plethora of devices for the consumer. For the developer. Different screen sizes. Different processors. Different screen technology. Yes, it would promote the Android haters to shake their finger towards fragmentation, but that's where the bonus of releasing developer devices shines through. These aren't locked-down devices with a wide range of specifications. No, these are developer-specific devices with a wide range of technology.
But we know that the consumer likes the Nexus name, too. They like the options. No, they may not be as popular as the other Android devices, but that could change with the right build, the right specifications, and the right marketing.
But, never let it be another carrier-branded Nexus. Ever again. Please.
So, tell me, which major manufacturers would you want to see create the next wave of Nexus devices? Or, maybe you'd just want one manufacturer to release several different devices? Let me know what you think, Dear Reader.