Android Silver: Is high end the way to go?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| April 30, 2014


We’ve all pretty much heard of Google’s Nexus program at this point, yeah? If not, that’s ok; it’s easy to figure out just why the Nexus program is so great. You can head over to the Google Play Store and check out the specs and full price of a Nexus 5 device, and then right after you can head to Samsung’s, Apple’s, or HTC’s websites and check out the specs and full price on their latest flagship models. In short, the phones aren’t all that different, but the price certainly is. Not to mention, with a Nexus device you don’t have to worry about that pesky bloatware or custom UIs if they’re not your thing.


However, rumor has it that the Nexus program might not be around for much longer. Well, rather, it’s going to be replaced with a program called “Android Silver”, which allegedly will focus on creating high-end devices with little to no unnecessary bloatware and providing more marketing for manufacturers in retail locations. On one hand, I’m intrigued; on the other, I’m a little concerned.


There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of details out about Android Silver yet, especially considering that this is just a hot rumor for the time being. Still, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched that Google would want to change direction into more premium territory at this point in time. In fact, it would seem like Android Silver is a good way to kind of merge the idea behind Nexus devices as well as the whole Google Play edition thing. This intrigues me.


What concerns me is whether the way these devices are priced will change or not. Part of the reason that people like the Nexus line so much is that they’re simple Android devices with a cheap price tag. These past couple of years have been especially good for the Nexus, as they’ve become either cheaper or better than anyone could have ever imagined. The Nexus 4 might not have been a total beast of a phone for its time, but the price couldn’t have been better. The Nexus 5 might have been a little more expensive, but the phone itself was often talked about as being the phone with flagship specs without the flagship price - which makes me think there is still a sliver of a chance that the Android Silver phones could still sell for less than one would expect.


But then you have to take the whole Google Play edition thing into consideration, and whether Google plans to fold that idea in with this Android Silver thing. GPe phones essentially follow the same principles as the Nexus program, but they have flagship hardware. Those phones aren’t cheap at all. Really, they’re anything but, which has always surprised me a bit given that you’re missing out on a lot of features that those phones were initially intended to have.


Still, perhaps Android Silver could be a good and fresh new beginning. After all, phones don’t necessary need to be cheap in order for people to flock to them. The iPhone has never really been cheap, and they’re still selling pretty well. Now that Android is on a much higher level than it was ever previously regarded, perhaps it’s time for Google to change up their core program. The Nexus was never a particularly popular phone, but perhaps with better phones and more advertisement, this new Android Silver program could work out.


If all of this is true, I have to admit that I would miss the Nexus program. It’s a comfortable program within the industry, and good for developers. Hopefully Google would still have something mid-to-high range to offer in the Android Silver program, because I think that the pricing and specs of Nexus devices are admirable and nice to fall back on if you ever need it.


That, or perhaps it’s just time to look at Lenovo and Motorola to produce decent cheap phones with a nearly stock look and experience.


Readers, what are your initial thoughts when reading about Android Silver? Do you hope to see this program in the future, or do you hope that Google keeps the Nexus program running? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Images via Digital Trends, Techie News

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