After passing the smartphone-sales torch to retailers and carriers for recent sales of its flagship Nexus line, we saw Google take steps to get itself back into the game last month when it resumed direct hardware sales, making the Galaxy Nexus available for purchase in the Google Play store. A new rumor suggests that’s just the start of a push to reestablish control over the Android ecosystem, and we could see the arrival of the next major Android release bring with it some big changes to the Nexus lineup.
The Wall Street Journal reports that instead of going with one manufacturer to create one showcase device, Google could instead be planning to partner with as many as five. That would mark a huge shift in how accessible new Android releases are, and hopefully help avoid some of the issues that have led to so few Android users having access to Ice Cream Sandwich, even this long after the platform debuted.
Beyond just having so many headlining devices, the sources behind this claim also suggest that Google’s going to be manning the helm of Nexus sales once again, taking a bit of power away from the carriers. There wasn’t any mention if this might be related to user dissatisfaction with Verizon’s handling of the Galaxy Nexus (and especially its software updates), but we wouldn’t be surprised if that factored-in. Could we be looking forward to a new renaissance of unlocked smartphone sales?