I don't think Google's Nexus program is going anywhere

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: January 31, 2014

Google has been somewhat of a spectacle in the mobile world lately, especially with the recent sale of Motorola to Lenovo. While the sale of Motorola was somewhat of a surprise (at least I didn't see it coming given how popular the Moto X and the Moto G were), a not-so-quiet rumor that has been spreading was aimed at another one of Google's mobile products: the rumored end of the Nexus program.

The Nexus program has been alive for a while now. As of recently, Nexus devices provided developers and regular consumers alike a cheap alternatiive to paying for a full price Apple or Samsung device, which would often run you over $600 in many cases. While it technically started with the Galaxy Nexus for $350 back in 2011, the Nexus 4 in 2012 was the line's first remarkably low-priced smartphone at $299. At the time, any smartphone that had the specs of the Nexus for at a price lower than $300 was practically a steal. The Nexus 4 only got better during the final fire sale for $199 before being pulled from the store. 

The Nexus 4 was a great device no doubt, but the one thing holding it back was lack of devices there towards the beginning. Many of you probably remember that if you weren't one of the very first to get to the Nexus 4, it was going to be a while before you were able to get your hands on one. It was probably the most disappointing thing about the Nexus 4 - it was hard to find one. Once the phone was back in stock, though, things were good.

But the Nexus 4 wasn't as good at making sales as the Nexus 5, as it turns out. Google recently revealed that the Nexus 5 was actually a great product for generating profits for the company, which makes it seem like the rumor that the Nexus program ending likely won't come to fruition as long as the Nexus keeps generating revenue. 

Although I wasn't expecting for Google to sell Motorola like they did, the lack of profits that they made from the Moto X and the Moto G explains why it wasn't exactly a huge loss for them so much as a gain that another company (like Lenovo) could use. Plus, it's not like Google's and Motorola's relationship is strained from the sale. On the other hand of things, after the statement that Google has made regarding how good the Nexus 5 has been for Google, I would be surprised if they decided to ultimately end the Nexus program at this point.

I have read that people feel that Google Play Edition devices are sufficient enough to replace the Nexus program, but I feel that the price of the phones that come out with Google Play Editions are hardly worth writing home about. After all, while the Nexus does target developers, it also targets budget-conscious consumers as well. Google Play Edition phones seem more of a niche device in the end than anything, for people who dig the hardware and specs of certain flagship models (i.e. Galaxy S4 and HTC One) but want the benefit of stock Android out of the box. 

It seems to me that the Nexus program has received too much momentum and potential for it to make any real sense to discontinue the program, and as I said, given Google's recent quips about the positive amount of profits that the Nexus 5 has been bringing in for the company, I would say that there isn't any real threat of the Nexus program ending anytime soon.

Images via Digital Trends