Keeping track of a device’s lineage isn’t all that hard. If a particular device is a success on the market, then a successor is usually a lock. We’ve seen it plenty of times in the DROID line-up on Verizon, and we’ll see it again and again throughout the years to come on every network. And while it’s not necessarily easy to “guess” when the next installment of any particular device will come, usually after about a year of a device’s life on the market, we can expect some kind of replacement to make it to store shelves. But, when it comes to the Nexus line-up of devices, maybe something a bit more “stable” should be picked up.
We know that there’s a new Nexus device coming. We’ve heard as much from Andy Rubin himself. And, besides that, after the Nexus S launch (and eventual release of the Nexus S 4G) anyone could have guessed that this would be a brand name that Google, and the manufacturer chosen to bring the next device to market, would want to keep alive. So, with the next device already in the pipe, and the next version of Android coming along for the ride, it won’t be long before the rumors and leaks start.
But, beyond what the device will look like and what kind of features it will pack under the hood, should the Nexus line-up of devices start to take on a more “permanent” upgrade pattern, instead of being up in the air just like any other major device (with notable exceptions). Just like we’ve seen with Apple since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, the yearly upgrade to the hardware and software seem to work quite well. (Yes, it does look like Apple will be missing that yearly refresh this year, but at least they’ve tried to stick to the constant refresh up until now.)
But then again, Apple’s pattern may be different from Android’s pattern simply because of one thing: devices. Google has to make a new version of Android not just for one device, or even two or three devices. They’ve got to make an Android version for several, several different handsets out there. But for the sake of this argument, we’re talking about only one: the Nexus line-up. Or, at least one brand of device, and not all of them that are out there. If Google can update the hardware and software at the same time, on a consistent schedule, I think there would be more people who pick up a Nexus device.
Just like Apple has shown us in the past, if people can expect a device, and the software upgrade, then it doesn’t matter that they know a new device is coming and when it’s coming, they’ll still buy what’s available now. I’ve heard people shy away from Android devices in the past, because they assume that something better, and more hardware or software advanced, will be out right after they make their purchase.
With the Nexus line-up, Google has a chance to make a killer family. The original Nexus One brought on the super phone category, and the Nexus S managed to step up the game all over again. With whatever next Nexus device that Google brings to the table, they can really bring a standardized upgrade process to the game as well, and that’s something that Android could use. Even if it’s just for the Nexus line-up, it would go a long way to show that Android can indeed be updated in a consistent fashion.
What do you think of Google positioning the Nexus family in the same sort of light that Apple has their iPhone? And do you think a standard yearly update schedule would do well for the Nexus brand? Let me know in the comments below what you think.