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WSJ: Google to Open Nexus Program to Multiple Manufacturers at a Time, Sell Directly Through Google Play Store


The Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon that Google may give multiple (5 to be exact) smartphone and tablet manufacturers early access to the latest builds of Android for lead devices, and then sell those directly to consumers through the Play Store. The plan, according to this report, is to have these 5 devices ready by the time Jelly Bean is launched around Thanksgiving. As you all know, in the past, Google has hand-selected one partner to release new versions of Android each year, a program better know as the “Nexus” program. This would be a drastic change from that, but I’m having trouble trying to find a reason why it doesn’t sound like the most amazing change ever. 

In recent weeks, Google began to sell the Galaxy Nexus directly to consumers through the Play Store, a move they had not done since the original Nexus One. Along with this move came a dedicated “Devices” page in the store which most of us assumed would mean more devices in the future, possibly tablets.

The sources that spoke to the WSJ mentioned that this would give Google “more control over the apps that run on smartphones and tablets powered by Android, thus reducing the influence of wireless carriers over such devices.” Nice timing, right? I just got done voicing my frustrations over a similar matter, where carriers are slowing the update process, something that should also be fixed with more “lead” or “Nexus” type devices around.

So in theory, we could see stock Android devices built by Samsung, Motorola, Asus, HTC, and more, all running the newest version of the OS, and available at the same time on the Google Play Store – sold to you directly without a contract.

Tell me your thoughts…

Update:  I’ve added some of my own thoughts at this post.

Via:  WSJ

  • ddevito

    November – right about when all other Verizon phones will get 4.0


  • PC_Tool

    So…GSM only, and us LTE users are pretty much left out?

    Sucks for Google and device manufacturers…isn’t VZW the largest carrier in the US? That’s a pretty large piece of the pie there…


  • iNfAMOUS70702

    This will surely be a GSM unlocked deal only…..I can’t see any CDMA carrier hoping onboard

  • mikeym0p

    Lets see HTC make one with an SLCD2 laminated display in the Gnex form factor. I’ll throw money at them.

  • Abu

    Nexus is a very special brand, at least for Google and Pure Android lover. I cant imagine how 5 different Nexus devices “fight” each other to be the best one..will hurt the Nexus brand at last.

  • tomn1ce

    This would be nice and if they make a CDMA nexus compatible with VZW air waves it would be even better….But something tells me that this is a dream for many of us on VZW with a unlimited data plan….Notice how Google only has the unlocked gsm version in the Play Store. Is it because AT&T and T-Mobile refused to carry the G-Nexus in their line up of device months after the device was release or/in combination with VZW and Sprint bossing Google around regarding the CDMA version not to be sold in the Play Store?

  • dsass600

    What if you dont buy phones off contract?

  • burpootus

    My Verizon contract is up July 15 (1st day DroidX idiot here), it looks like I’ll be switching carriers and manufacturers come Thanksgiving. Only unlocked, non-interfered-with, non-Motorola hardware for me in the future. If I can’t have that, I’ll stick to the free dumb phone I get from work.

  • Travillion

    This is exciting news for anyone not on Verizon…

  • GazaIan

    That’s how it should have been from the start. Aside from Honeycomb (which still proved full of fails), Google released updates first because only Google had the source.The source is released well after Google has begun work on it, and by the time manufacturers start, Google has already put out updates. There, manufacturers start from scratch, add their overlay, do their radios for their devices, test it in performance and field tests, etc. This takes a while and consumers end up bashing Android for slow updates when in fact its kinda Google’s fault.

  • moelsen8

    moto nexus? shut up and take my money!

  • You can stop the carriers but you will never stop the whining.

  • EdubE24

    I see Verizon is taking a well deserved beating on these pages but Samsung needs to take some blame on the latest Nexus also. For a flagship device to have that camera on it is a shame. I know it’s not suppose to be my main shooter, but when I do use it at least take a reasonable picture. And the external speaker on the phone is just horrendous, thank goodness for volume+, now we can hear notification tones from more then two feet away. These are two examples that are prevalent on all of them regardless of carrier.

    • brando56894

      I haven’t heard many GSM GNex owners complain about stuff as much as I’ve heard VZW owners though.

  • Wmsco51

    mixed feelings; i think nexsus will be run in the ground nothing special any more ,secondly very possible carriers might tell you what apps you can run using some congressional paper saying it is harmful to there service and finialy cdma is out and in closing what’s to say google won’t support it after you bought it you know they have been gutless in fighting for android you know bloatware, ect.

  • blizzardskier

    I don’t see any reason they can’t offer cdma/lte nexi, it’d just have to be treated the same way as the current nexus, it can’t be completely open sourced, otherwise make it a device with verizon/sprint specific radios and sell it free from the carrier, much like apple does, it would also allow google to roll out updates without passing them through verizon first since its not officially a verizon supported phone, its just a phone that happens to work on the verizon network

    • florious80

      I’m not an expert, but I think the problem with CDMA/LTE nexus has always been that Google does not have full access over a part of the software (i think it was the radio software? i forget). Verizon has that part of the code and it is not released to Google. Thus they dropped the CDMA Gnex from their website since they can’t update them directly. There was a previous droid-life post about Google’s response when they dropped this phone from the website. This is also the reason why Google isn’t selling the LTE nexus on Play, because it is not truly independent of the carrier due to tech limitation/Verizon being a d!ck. T.T

  • TheWhiteLotus


  • Bionic

    yeah but……..how much will the phone cost?

    • Austin

      Full Retail

      • Bionic

        well then no thanks

        • Austin

          It will be competive to the carriers discount

          • Bionic

            How? Verizon charges what they charge because we’re paying a monthly contract price as well. The google play store wouldnt be getting any “subscription” money from us or anything like that. So how could the play store afford to only charge say $299 for a Motorola nexus?

          • There are other ways to subsidize. Special offers, included SIM cards for preferred carriers that you just stick in and pay month to month, etc.

        • WickedToby741

          Galaxy Nexus subsidized on Verizon – $299
          Galaxy Nexus unlocked GSM – $399

          This doesn’t seem so unreasonable to me.

  • Jon

    This is much needed. It’s totally lame to have the Nexus devices be exclusive to one carrier. More options would be great. My only concern is that these won’t be 2 yr contract devices, and thus no subsidies. They will be expensive.

    • Justin Winford

      Well if you compare the price of a non-contract plan with a contract plan you might see that you will come out cheaper over a 24 month period, even with the high initial cost.

  • Trevor

    This makes me giddy like a school girl.

  • Destroythanet

    It would be pretty dumb of Google to leave out Verizon, the Alpha Dog of US carriers by making these phones GSM only.

    • MKader17

      It would be pretty dumb of Verizon to not get involved

    • Michael G

      Verizon needs Google more than Google needs Verizon. No Android, no Moto. No Moto, no Razr. No Razr…well….you get it.

    • What’s Verizon’s share worldwide (because, you know, GSM is worldwide)?

      • BulletTooth_Tony

        Verizon Communications and Vodafone’s joint ownership arrangements extend beyond the borders of the US and into several other countries… just with things flipped in the others favor. And Verizon Wireless, alone, is the 19th largest wireless carrier in the world.

        • So,

          China Mobile, which has 650, sells most of their Motorola’s, Samsung’s, and other manufacturers’ GSM devices unsubsidised.

          2nd largest, Vodafone (440 million customers), splits the price of the sold GSM device and the customer pays it over the course of 1 or 2 years (up to them). Same with Telefonica (GSM) and T-Mobile (GSM).

          Of 205 million Vimpelcom’s GSM users, not a single one ever bought a subsidised phone; this is also true for 106 million of MTS’s GSM users (20th largest).

          There are hundreds of small GSM carriers who also don’t subsidise the devices.

          Verizon’s CDMA network has 110 million users.

          I wonder what is more profitable for a manufacturer, to design a phone that can be used by at least 1 billion users, or a phone that is only targeted at 110 million.

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            I hear exactly what you’re saying and agree, I was just answering your question. Verizon is in a pinch, and they really screwed the pooch here with what they’ve done.

            Add in the fact that CDMA’s radio code is closed-source and owned exclusively by Qualcomm, Google dropped all CDMA support from the AOSP code and does not license any CDMA radio code anyway… but Verizon and Sprint sure do license it. Those things together make it very unlikely you’ll ever see another CDMA Nexus — well, I shouldn’t say never, Sprint will probably play ball.

          • dtm4

            The difference being that a lot of those people buying un-subsidized phones are paying a much lower monthly service cost since it doesn’t have to make up for the subsidy. If the carrier would give you a cheaper price because they aren’t subsidizing your phone it would all be worth it, but I don’t see that happening in the US.

          • dtm4

            The difference being that a lot of those people buying un-subsidized phones are paying a much lower monthly service cost since it doesn’t have to make up for the subsidy. If the carrier would give you a cheaper price because they aren’t subsidizing your phone it would all be worth it, but I don’t see that happening in the US.

          • dtm4

            The difference being that a lot of those people buying un-subsidized phones are paying a much lower monthly service cost since it doesn’t have to make up for the subsidy. If the carrier would give you a cheaper price because they aren’t subsidizing your phone it would all be worth it, but I don’t see that happening in the US.

    • EvanJ2462

      It’s nothing new. They did it with Nexus one and Nexus S. The first real attempt (meaning actual launch not releasing the nexus s on sprint halfway through its life) with a carrier relationship was an unmitigated failure.

    • WickedToby741

      The reason for going GSM only is that you can completely sidestep the carrier. Since all of the carrier info is kept on the SIM, you don’t need to include the carrier in the update process. Put a CDMA radio in there, and your chained to the carrier. The day when all carriers are LTE only, this can change since LTE is SIM based, but until then, don’t expect the same treatment for Verizon and Sprint for Nexus devices.

  • MKader17

    Is this Google’s clever way of getting around any anti-trust issues with making a Nexus Motorola device?

    • kevinc

      as long as android is open source, that will NEVER happen, not possible.

  • Keii Graham

    Now all they need is wireless spectrum and to start rolling out Google cellular service and we’d be set.

    • dsass600

      Hopefully they buy T-Mobile. That would be sick.

      • WickedToby741

        That would be just about perfect, except it would never work because antitrust regulators would never approve of the deal.

        • dsass600

          Why wouldn’t they. It’s not like Google already owns a carrier . So.its not like the ATT deal.

          • Keii Graham

            Vertical Monopoly

          • NotRelevent

            But google makes the OS, and just about owns a device manufacturer.

  • Cyaniris

    I wish Moto is one of the five and brings Jellybean with MAXX battery.

    • WickedToby741

      Razr Nexus, has a nice ring to it doesn’t it?

  • br_hermon

    I LOVE this idea except…. can we expect any of these to be CDMA, ready to run on Verizon? I have a feeling AT&T and Sprint users are going to get the best benefit of this deal. Here’s hoping CDMA / LTE isn’t left out… :/ (This wouldn’t be as much an issue if the other guys’ coverage could compare at all to Verizon’s [in my area at least])

    • BulletTooth_Tony

      Not a chance. CDMA’s radio code is closed-source and owned exclusively by Qualcomm. Google dropped all CDMA support from the AOSP code and does not license any CDMA radio code anyway… but Verizon and Sprint sure do license it. Therein lies the problem…

      • florious80

        Yep, this was a huge issue a while ago when Google dropped CDMA support on their website. CDMA/LTE nexus can never be carrier independent due to radio code. Now if only ATT would provide the same coverage/service as Verizon I’d jump ship in a heart beat. Unlimited data has me chained down….

  • webby

    Love it, but Verizon probably not gonna play … so sad …

    • Austin

      Doubt verizon has much of a choice


    @kellex:disqus Yea kellex, while it sounds good… it may be too good to be true.. for verizon customers.. remember were cdma, lte which google has not done AOSP for.. therefore they might have all these devices on there but they might be gsm… 🙁 hate to say it but i doubt they would make cdma nexus’s for direct sell on their website since much of the world is gsm..


      oh yea.. what @twitter-151664524:disqus said..

  • NemaCystX

    Hopefully when all the carriers move away from CDMA we won’t have licensing issues.

    I think having a Nexus from each manufacturer is the best way to go. Especially if Google keeps the price low like it is for the Galaxy Nexus on Google Play off contract.

    • Bionic

      how much is it?

      • tomn1ce

        $400….compared to how much VZW was charging when it launched with a 2 year contract which was $300…..Sprint has it for $200 and VZW just lowered the price this week to $200 but these are with a contract and CDMA and the G-Nexus on Google Play Store is the unlocked GSM version….and if you shop around you can get the CDMA G-Nexus for less with a contract on amazon.com and wirefly.com. Not to mention that the unlocked GSM G-Nexus at other retailers are been sold for more then $400…

  • Ralph Bretz

    I would think Verizon would have to allow the phones or risk loosing a large percentage of customers. How many customers would they risk just to keep an iron tight fist on every aspect of the phone released on their network

    • kevinc

      that only works when nexus devices sell a lot, which doesn’t happen.

  • mark

    Make one a slider please.

    • No.

      • Not a Follower


    • LiterofCola

      As long as it’s not the Verizon one, sure.

      • thugjedi

        there wont be a verizon one

        • LiterofCola

          Oh Reaaaalllly?

    • RoninX

      Agreed! I want to see a Droid Nexus slider.

    • ABOUT TIME. {{-_-}}

  • bakdroid

    And this will never see the day of light on VZW because they will never get behind a Nexus again, especally if Google does this.

  • p_droid

    What makes you think that those carriers will keep Android stock? They’ll probably just take what Google gives them and throw their skins on top, then release em.

    • p_droid

      *Sorry, manufacturers, not carriers.

    • EvanJ2462

      So do what manufacturers are doing with non nexus phones now? That defeats the purpose, thus not really being a Nexus phone.

      • p_droid

        Kellen wrote, “…early access to the latest builds of Android for lead devices, and then sell those directly to consumers through the Play Store.” He didn’t say anything about keeping Android vanilla on those devices. I can’t read the WSJ article though so I’m not sure. Just wondering.

  • C-Law

    This WILL NOT work in the US ever for the simple fact that only T-Mobile offers unsubsidized monthly pricing plans. If you buy a phone off contract on at&t, you are still gonna pay the same monthly service price as you would have if you had bought a discounted version through them. Sprint and verizon are cdma so they won’t even be involved.

  • So the rumors of last year about the prime (Galaxy Nexus) coming from 5 different OEMs was only a year off but glad if true its coming this year.Just give me a Motorola Build with 1.5ghz processor, 13mp Camera (like on rumored razr HD hopefully), NFC with Google wallet, on screen buttons, super LCD 2 screen HD resolution.

    • LiterofCola

      Don’t forget the Maax’s battery…

  • MKader17

    If Verizon doesn’t get on board and with the timing of my contract and the League of Nexi to be released I’ll just go elsewhere. I have plenty of great wifi coverage, and LTE isn’t worth that much to me.

  • Balthazar B

    Although I’m on VzW, if the GSM Nexus had appeared on the Google Play store before I’d gotten my LTE Nexus, I’d have thought long and hard about going back to ATT, even though VzW’s signal is better in most places I go. Unless VzW devices are available with this rollout later this year, I may be persuaded to eat an early termination charge and switch at that time.

  • rodney11ride

    why does it matter to everyone that it wont be cdma? in a year or two 4g lte will be the only thing anyways. no more cdma…

    • kamui0

      still at the mercy of Vzw supporting this type of decisions & I would say they will not.

  • I’d like to see them set standards to qualify as a Nexus device like windows does with thier phones cause I don’t want to see any low end devices with a nexus name. Just give me options such as different build, different processor (same clocked speed), different camera (same MP maybe?), though most importantly same OS version & stock only!

  • WickedToby741

    First things first, these are most likely GSM devices only. You just simply can’t control CDMA devices no matter how hard you try, so I’d expect any phone to be GSM unlocked.

    I think for manufacturers, Samsung and Asus are a sure bet and HTC seems like a shoe in. After that it gets sketchy. We could see LG, Motorola, Sony, and even Huawei could make an appearance in this lineup. I’d bet money on seeing phones from Samsung and HTC and tablets from Samsung and Asus.

    I’m thinking for the processor side of things, the love can be spread around. If it’s HSPA+ only, you can count Tegra 3 in, but Tegra 3 is to be expected with an Asus tablet anyways. Samsung may choose to use Exynos for their devices. The S4 from Qualcomm would almost certainly make an appearance if LTE is included because it seems to be the go to chip for Samsung, HTC, and Asus when it comes to LTE support. TI is currently lagging behind the competition, but they could make an appearance with Motorola or LG.

    All in all, this rumor presents a very exciting future and doesn’t seem improbable. I’m even more eagerly awaiting Google I/O now.

  • Looks like a lot of nerds will be switching to T-mobile prepaid at the end of their current contracts…

    • thugjedi

      already did

  • geekabilly

    Died & gone to crackflashing heaven…


    This how the Android brand should have been from Day 1. Avoid fragmentation by allowing each manufacturer (HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG, etc.) one flagship device to be released per year without the manufacturer OS skins.

    • KevinC

      you do realize manufacturers have always had the ability to release phones with no OEM customization, right?

      • MKader17

        …mind blown…

        • MKader17

          no sarcasm intended. I honestly just never thought of it. Though, it may be a little more incentive to be called a “Nexus”, especially when every other manufacturer has one.

      • brando56894

        They have the option to, they should be forced to do so because some people love the device and it’s hardware but hate the skin and have to make a compromise.

  • LiterofCola

    Gimmie Jellybean with a nice, polished Motorola build….sounds really nice.

    • MotoRulz

      ^This^ and no other phone will matter..

      • LiterofCola

        Depending on the final product, pretty much.

    • Butters619

      As long as they do an LTE North American build and not just an HSPA+ world version.

      • Why not an LTE Eurasian version (with 2.4-2.7GHz bands support)?

        • Butters619

          I’ll take that as well lol.

  • Dan

    Verizon really f’d up with the Galaxy Nexus

    • Austin

      Yes they did

    • Michael_NM

      …and the Thunderbolt, and the Xoom, and the Bionic…

      • TROLOLOL

        … and the XYBoard…

    • Big Red can’t seem to get anything right except for their 4G speed. {{-_-}}

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    ……..Good Lord! . . . But I have this feeling… you know, in my gut… that I wouldn’t be seeing these devices for Verizon…. Just a damn FEELING!!!!

  • It likely means kiss CDMA LTE devices goodbye. As I’ve said before, I doubt Verizon will ever see another Nexus.

    • AlexKCMO

      Pretty much this.

      I mentioned this numerous times.

      • palomosan

        Two words…about time.

    • kniceguy

      Will this hold true in 2 years when we will see LTE only devices on Verizon? I am just not 100% on the difference in the tech b/t AT&T and Verizon but I thought LTE was the sameish tech on both. Is that correct?

      • Androidandwp7equalsPower

        Yes in theory but AT&t and VZW made sure their networks would not be compatible when they were building it out.

    • Larizard

      So since I don’t see myself leaving Verizon any time soon, does this mean I should just go and get the Galaxy Nexus??

      • If you want a Verizon Nexus device, that’d be my bet.

  • MyStroPro

    Here’s comes GSM only Nexus devices — Oh well….

    Also – the without contracts bit gets me — How do smart phones without a contract work with data usage? I’m curious as I’ve always been on contract and have unlimited data grandfathered in.

    • EvanJ2462

      In my case I got the Nexus off contract and am on a prepaid tmobile plan. I pay 30$ a month for the tmobile walmart plan. 100min, unlimited text and 5gb of data

    • Mack

      You would still have a data plan with your carrier, you just wouldn’t be stuck with them for two years. A contract simply means that you pay less for a device in exchange for staying with that carrier for a set period of time, switching carriers before that time is up usually requires an early termination fee. You will still pay monthly for service, including data, without a contract.

      • MyStroPro

        Thanks… I guess I never noticed the price difference with my last phone.

    • Camilo Forero

      I did the same thing EvanJ2462 did just a couple weeks ago. Paying ETF, buying a new Galaxy Nexus from Google Play, porting my number to Google Voice and switching to T-Mobile prepaid is resulting me in $400 in savings over the next year and a half over VZW. My D3 has been relegated to media player status at home. I don’t see myself looking back once – T-Mobile+Google Voice (which is a seriously amazing service by Google) has been great thus far.

  • kamui0

    Great but us CDMA customers aren’t going to be able to take advantage of this.

    • Cyaniris

      If these devices sell well, probably VZW will react…

      • epyon0

        as in look at it & roll their eyes I’ll buy that.

      • I doubt they will because they won’t have contracts, making their initial prices double the cost of a phone you go into the store and purchase. Not to mention people like fiddling with things before they buy them. Hence why Best Buy is in the shitter. People go in and try out a product then immediately go buy it online for less. I won’t lie. I do it all the time.

        • tomn1ce

          That’s true, I have done it myself…. :o)

  • theentropic

    Here’s praying I can put this on VZW and keep my unlimited data.

    • I’ve heard even grandfathered unlimited plans might be leaving us soon…

      • brando56894

        I don’t think they can do that because it would probably be a breach of contract or something like that. It would be bad for business for them to go back on their word like that.

        • ^^^THIS. {{-_-}}

        • I meant as soon as you upgrade to a 4G phone.

          • brando56894

            You weren’t lying. I just saw the story in my Reader feeds. Luckily I already have my unlimited LTE. If they cancel that then we have a serious problem!

          • Yeah I do too. I am worried though.

      • Larizard

        Sadness.. Still holding onto my OG Droid and my unlimited… and by the looks of it, it’s either the Galaxy Nexus for me, or the S3…

  • Anthony

    Laissez-faire Nexus program sounds good to me

  • Austin

    Are we expected to pay full retail?

    • Sold directly w/o contract. So yea, full retail.

      • FortitudineVincimus

        Yet another nail in the coffin of the concept. At prices now hitting mid to upper $600’s – and likely to climb on future “Nexus” phones – few people can by into it and in reality, few people even will care. Just dorks like us that hang out on tech blogs and thats a small number of phone users.

        • Liderc

          Technically Google sold the Gnex off contract for $399 through the playstore. So it may be a bit cheaper than we’re used to.

          • Austin

            My question is how much of the market will pay an extre 50-100$ the get a “nexus”, how many people actually care what version of android their phone is on

          • Liderc

            Well that’s a good question, but you also have to take into account that you aren’t stuck in a contract either. So you’d have to decide how much money that means to you. I imagine this will be fairly different for each person.

          • Austin

            Thats true also, contract free is a huge advantage

          • dtm4

            Why is contract free such an advantage though? I don’t think there’s really that many people that care, other than the small group of tech geeks that always want the newest phones, most people don’t switch carriers or phones that often.

        • Austin

          That’s true also is the market really big enough to justify this change

        • That’s only true for markets where customers are used to subsidised stuff.

      • Austin

        Might not be a good idea I’m not fan of the way verizon treated my g-nex but how many people do you think will for over 600$?

        • For reference, Google is selling the Galaxy Nexus through their store now for $399. Verizon sold it to you for $299 on contract.

          I’m guessing that Google is going to do whatever they can to drive the prices down to make them semi-reasonable. We also probably need to take another look at how we value smartphones.

          People buy computers every couple of years for $600-$2000, yet they don’t use those half as much as you use your phone. A phone gets hours of use every single day.

          It would take some work, but I bet if it became a yearly or bi-yearly thing to upgrade without a contract, you would love it.

          • Austin

            As long as it’s competitive with verizon prices it could end up being a nice concept, after seeing the way verizon messed up the nexus there needs to be a change

    • MyStroPro

      Depends I guess. Google sells the Gal Nex for 399 through the market.

  • Mr Waldo

    This is tits!

    • Soothsayer

      No this is mobile phones, Kate Upton is tits,

      • LiterofCola


  • prevail70

    That would be awesome. Just hope they work on all carriers…

  • Well great news. Too bad verizon wont let it on there network.

  • sam

    the question is: is it worth it to you to pay the full, unsubsidized price for a phone to remove the carrier involvement.

    • After seeing the price drop on the Verizon GNex, yes it is worth it to wait a few months and get a good phone without a contract. Plus it will keep my unlimited data.

    • EvanJ2462

      Yes. 1000x yes. I did it and never looked back.

      • Couldn’t agree more. I have a 2nd line that I used all of my unlocked phones on through AT&T and as time has gone on, I seem to use them more and more.

    • Austin

      That’s my concern, I’m not paying full retail for a device

      • Balthazar B

        You are paying full retail for the device. If you don’t think so, do the math. You’re just buying it on the installment plan, one pint of blood at a time.

        • Austin

          Thats true

      • EvanJ2462

        From Kellex B:
        “For reference, Google is selling the Galaxy Nexus through their store now for $399. Verizon sold it to you for $299 on contract.I’m guessing that Google is going to do whatever they can to drive the prices down to make them semi-reasonable. We also probably need to take another look at how we value smartphones.People buy computers every couple of years for $600-$2000, yet they don’t use those half as much as you use your phone. A phone gets hours of use every single day.It would take some work, but I bet if it became a yearly or bi-yearly thing to upgrade without a contract, you would love it.”

    • MyStroPro

      Google doesn’t sell the current Nexus for unsubsidized through the play store.

    • WickedToby741

      You actually save money in a lot of cases by going no contract. You can get 5 GB of unthrottled data with mobile hotspot on T-Mobile and unlimited everything else for a no contract phone for $75 a month for a single person. $60 for 2 GB of data and no hotspot. You can buy the unsubsidized GSM Galaxy Nexus straight from Google for $399. To me, that seems pretty reasonable. The problem lies with T-Mobile’s coverage area. AT&T pricing seems to be on par with Verizon.

  • somehickass

    Bout gall darn time

  • FortitudineVincimus

    Nexus = farce of a sales tool. Nothing more.

    (let the hate votes begin – I’ll even start and vote -1 on my own post)

    • EvanJ2462

      not for GSM Nexus’

      • FortitudineVincimus

        CDMA, GMS, it matters not.. the “Nexus” concept it just a word and a concept that at the end of the day, means nothing, adds nothing, is just hype and there are always later reasons by manufacturers and carriers why they can’t adhere to the “Nexus” concept they claimed they would. Once everyone just admits to that, we can get on with this whole empty concept.

        • EvanJ2462

          My idea of nexus is prompt updates, ux skin free, and open. in my case all 3 are true. so the “Nexus” model and hype has 100% been lived up to.

          • FortitudineVincimus

            Yeah, tell that to all of the “Nexus” VZW users that have struggle with their pure Google experience for what, 5 months now! Yeah, that’s real “prompt” updating.

            I said it in the last post and will say it here, the Dev community is yours and most people’s savings grace as the Dev community gives actual life to the “Nexus” concept where the carriers and manufacturers fail.

          • EvanJ2462

            I said in my case, which is gsm unlocked. I put all of the blame on VZW seeing how all of the unlocked phones are up to date and not experiencing any of these problems.

            Basically what I’m saying is don’t knock the entire Nexus brand because one carrier has massively dropped the ball. Because for the rest of the world the Nexus brand has been lived up to.

          • Austin

            Its not lived up to, 5 months on verizon with no update

          • EvanJ2462

            I said IN MY CASE. Nexus exists on carriers other than Verizon. I’ve had my GSM Unlocked for probably 7 months now and have 4.0.4. so to ME and most using a Nexus not on verizon, it’s been lived up to.

        • Liderc

          The Nexus means no manufacture skin, it’s not an empty concept.

  • This is excellent news if true. I would love to see Google more involved than just one device per year.

  • EvanJ2462

    This is great. VZW already proved the (overbearing) carrier-nexus relationship doesn’t work.

  • Best. News. Ever.

  • Great. However, I have a feeling that I will have to switch to a GSM carrier to take advantage of this.

    • This is probably true. Well, until Verizon kicks everyone off 3G and forces you onto LTE only.

      • That does not seem far off at the rate they’re lighting up new markets.

        • WickedToby741

          We’re still a ways off. They can’t just shut off 3G for all of the current people stuck on 3G smartphones and all of the 3G feature phones. Even when all phones offered have LTE, you have to wait until a majority of 3G only users have upgraded.

    • Trevor

      I’m worried about this too. It almost sucks that Verizon has the best 4G coverage. It’s so much easier to buy and use random phones on ATT.

      • iNfAMOUS70702

        That was my thoughts too…luckily for me I live in an AT&T LTE area with great coverage…got the 4S..one x and will be getting the SGSIII when that arrives

    • Josh Groff

      Simple Mobile uses t-mobile’s network and is a flat 60/month no contract.

  • jjrudey

    I’m okay with this.

  • so that means if we want to get the discounts for upgrading….we still have to go to a store? or will they somehow do that through the play store?

    • Discounts are from carriers or authorized resellers. This would be full price unlocked devices.

      • MyStroPro

        Not necessarily – They could still be subsidized. Otherwise it will be full price (so like 700 or so iirc)

        But yes, line upgrade discounts (dead on Verizon for some while now) are not part of the Play Store sales.

    • WickedToby741

      Any hopes of a discount would be if Google decided to subsidize the devices like Amazon does for the Fire. Otherwise, these are most likely straight, no contract, full retail price devices. For reference, the GSM Galaxy Nexus from Google Play is only $399 though. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus when it was new cost $299 subsidized.

  • Dan


    • Nexjersey

      Agreed, doesn’t this mean we would get updates directly from Google and not have to wait for carriers?