Yesterday night (IST), the Mountain View giant introduced their two new Pixel phones, Pixel & Pixel XL. The Google-branded phones are the future of the company as stated by the CEO, Sundar Pichai. They are the part of Artificial Intelligence approach that company has been taking over the years. But this year, it the fruits of that seeds are started to grow.
Looking at the Pixel phones announcement, there was one thing clear that Google didn’t mention anything about the Nexus program that has been their pilot hardware devices project since 2010, the first Nexus product launch. Since, then the program has seen the launch of eight phone, four tablets and two media players under Nexus branding.
Now according to the company, they have no plans for a future Nexus product, which likely marks the end of the Nexus era. The program that went through various iterations and saw experimentation from Google towards their hardware business will now be a talk of past. The program’s main purpose felt to showcase how Android devices should be built.
Of course, Nexus phones and tablets were the first devices to receive new versions of Android as they were released. On top of that, they frequently had hardware taking advantage of the new software features Google showcase in the latest versions of Android. The company played around with the pricing of Nexus smartphones as it ranged from premium priced phones costing as much as $600 to lower cost mid-range options.
Nexus devices were embraced by many people while it was largely ignored by some. The fact that buying a Nexus meant going through Google and not your local carrier’s store. Even though Nexus devices started to get interesting in the overall picture, they still lagged behind in certain aspects when compared with handsets from Samsung or one of the many other Android devices makers.
For all intent, the new Pixel phones seem to fall under the same niche as of Nexus phones. The reason behind that conclusion is that Pixel strategy isn’t materially different from the Nexus program. They are also limited availability devices and not push the capabilities in terms of design, as the high-end Android devices released all year does. The only real advantage to a Pixel phone is the same as Nexus lineup had; a direct software experience from Google as well as the promise of quickest software updates.
Though, it could all change, if the company commits to marketing their new devices in much broader way. And therefore, they would have to hit hard their new devices in front of consumers who are interested in buying the premium priced Android devices.