Last week reports indicated Google was canning its Nexus programme and replacing it with Android Silver. New reports now suggest the rumoured Android Silver project will debut on a LG handset.
LG, which is familiar with Google's methodology of creating platform lead devices for Android with its LG Nexus 4 and LG Nexus 5 (Review | Pictures) offerings, is said to be in the process of building a new smartphone powered by Qualcomm MSM8994 SoC, thought to be an octa-core Snapdragon 810 SoC. The smartphone is also said to be the first to bring Android Silver to the world.
According to popular tipster @evleaks, the LG-made smartphone is a 'successor to the Nexus 6 initiative', and will be a Sprint carrier-exclusive device when launched in the US.
LG handset, running a Qualcomm MSM8994, to be among first Silver devices. Successor to the Nexus 6 initiative, expected on Sprint in the US.-- @evleaks (@evleaks) May 17, 2014
The wording of the tweet is rather confusing, especially when @evleaks' previous tweet saw the tipster also predict that the Android Silver might debut in February 2015 - not fitting with Sunder Pichai's statement that the successor to the Nexus 5 (whether a part of Android Silver or not) was due in the second half of 2014.
Android Silver, circa February 2015. [discussion: http://t.co/dMTT3g393q]-- @evleaks (@evleaks) May 17, 2014
Alternatively, the tweets could also indicate that a Nexus 6 smartphone is still due for a launch later this year, while another LG-made device will debut as the first of the Android Silver devices in February - thereby making it the 'successor to the Nexus 6 initiative'.
Reports from last month describe a wide lineup of Android Silver devices that are much like the Google-sponsored Nexus series, with a focus on promoting manufacturers who do not use elaborate customised Android UI skins, and offer a Nexus-like stock-Android experience.
The rumoured Android Silver program is said to promote only five devices or manufacturers at a time, and ensure that customers are exposed to products conforming to Google's guidelines, especially at retail locations such as carrier outlets where Samsung and others typically have huge branded sections and sales staff. Google would presumably commit a large marketing budget for Android Silver devices.
A programme such as Android Silver would definitely give Google a greater degree of control over the market that is currently dominated by a few companies which customise Google's operating system greatly, often ending up delaying software updates. Android Silver, with its stock - or near-stock - OS experience would allow Google greater control on the Android update experience, one of the biggest complaints of the users of the Mountain View company's mobile and tablet OS.
However, looking at the increasing number of leaks for the Android Silver, we might find some more clues in the Google I/O event, which is just a month away.