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Is Google going to replace the Nexus brand with Android Silver Phones?

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Rumours suggest that Google is ending its Nexus programme, and will replace it with several high-end phones from top manufacturers dubbed 'Silver Phones'.

The big problem for Google's Nexus devices has always been availability. They are sold through the Google Play store and, for the most part, service providers usually either don't sell them, or don't go to much effort to promote them. The Android Silver programme is rumoured to be supported by a much larger advertising push, as well as in-store promotion.

Like Google's Nexus devices, Android Silver devices would run the latest version of Android at all times, get access to the updates first and have minimal carrier and manufacturer software added on top. According to slides leaked to Android Police, networks would have to commit to sell a number of the Silver devices, and help customers in-store.

Some of the suggested support includes transferring apps over from other phones, providing unique services that make the handsets desirable and training staff. There's also advertising, which is claimed to be as much as $1billion for the programme. Perhaps the idea here is to use an Apple-style Google advert, which features a specific carrier name at the end of the promotion?

The slides published by Android Police also suggest that Google services similar to Apple's "Find My iPhone" will play a huge part in the appeal of the service. And like Amazon's Kindle Fire, there will be 24/7 Google Hangouts available where customers can get video-based support from Google employees trained to help.

Devices, obviously, haven't been confirmed. Logic would dictate that it would include the HTC One M8, perhaps a version of LG's G3 and if Google can talk Samsung into it, a stripped back version of the Galaxy S5. It would be a shame to lose the unique style that came with the Nexus devices though, because the Nexus 5 remains one of the best, and most appealing Android handsets on the market.

The other lingering question is about price. The Nexus 5 is a bargain, and offers a lot more bang-for-buck than any other phone on the market. Will the Silver programme put an end to that hefty price reduction? It seems hard to believe that Google will want to subsidise high-cost handsets in that manner, but without the low price, what actual draw is there for customers?

All things considered, Android Silver raises more questions than ever. Clearly Google wants to promote Android, but until now just hasn't known how best to do that. This idea is following Apple's strong promotional skills, and trying to make the Android platform as desirable as possible to people who don't spend their lives thinking about phones.

Read more: LG Nexus 5 review

Via: The Verge, Android Police

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