The Nexus range of devices refers to the flagship products that Google releases with its own stock version of the Android operating system. Google works with hardware partners to make these devices at a low-cost, reportedly as a stock device that software developers can develop to, as well as a reference model for other Android hardware makers.
Previous generations of the Nexus phones and tablets have been made by partners as varied as HTC, Samsung and LG. HTC worked with Google to make the original Nexus and Nexus S smartphones, while Samsung produced the Nexus 10 ten-inch tablet and Galaxy Nexus smartphone, and LG made the Nexus 4 smartphone.
But if the rumors are right, Google is going with Asus to make its next Nexus 10 ten-inch tablet, and with Motorola for the next Nexus smartphone. Google has already worked with Asus to produce both its first- and second-generation Nexus 7 range of seven-inch tablets.
Samsung is increasingly dominating the smartphone and tablet market. In this past quarter (Q2 2013), Samsung actually surpassed Apple as the most profitable mobile manufacturer, and is reported to be commanding 95% of the entire profits of Android devices shipped. (95%! That’s a whopper!)
So it would be no surprise that Google may be taking a defensive move to avoid Samsung becoming the 600-pound gorilla in the Android space – a space that Google helped create with its own Android operating system. It could also be that Google wants to help smaller manufacturers tilt towards the Android operating system and push their devices, while also hedging against an increasingly dominant Samsung.
As for Motorola: Google’s $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola so far hasn’t proved too lucrative for the search giant. The pioneering cellular and smartphone giant has lost money every quarter for Google, and has shed a lot of its employees since Google purchased the company.
Google and Motorola launched the “Assembled in USA” Moto X smartphone last week, hoping to re-create the shine around Motorola’s smartphones–one would also assume that they are hoping for a win to validate Google’s purchase of the company. And of course, making Motorola the go-to partner for the Nexus range of smartphones would probably not hurt either.