Earlier this month, rumors started talking about a possible effort from Google called Android Silver, a project that would involve a handful of Android smartphones running near-stock builds and being offered as part of a premium smartphone-owning experience: users would enjoy things like enhanced support for data migration to the new phone, one-on-one customer care, and even loaner phones when yours goes lost – all in all, some real white glove, concierge-level stuff. At the time the report was a little shaky, but today new details arrive, both expanding upon what Android Silver involves and offering launch specifics.
That bit about near-stock Android might have gotten you thinking about those rumors that Google could be doing away with the Nexus series as we know it, and today’s update reinforces that notion: Android Silver would replace the Nexus family. Like Nexus devices, Silver models would be first in line for platform updates, and would all be premium high-end hardware. Google would bring five such handsets into the program at any given time, and would contribute significant resources to promoting this Android Silver lineup, including at carriers and existing retailers.
The US, Germany, and Japan would be the first nations to see the arrival of the Android Silver program, which could get underway sometime in 2015.
From the sound of things, it wouldn’t be just Nexus models going away, and GPe devices might get swept up under this new label, as well.
If true, this could stand to be a big change for the Android market. Will the Nexus 6 be the last Nexus ever? Will Android Silver models demand premium pricing to fit with all the perks we heard about; is the dream of super-cheap high-end stock Android models dying altogether? Right now, it’s hard to tell if Android Silver is something we should be getting very excited about (at least as big Nexus fans), but from the sound of things, it’s absolutely key to Google’s vision for Android’s future.