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Goodbye Nexus? Google rumored to introduce high-end Android Silver smartphone range

Google is rumored to be working on the replacement for its long-running Nexus program, and it’s called the Android Silver Project. However, instead of producing low-price smartphones with solid spec sheets and a clean version of Android onboard, Android Silver will consist of range-topping smartphones similar to the Google Play Edition hardware we’ve seen launch recently, where Android takes center stage.

The way Google promotes its smartphones could change too. Apparently, it’s interested in working with networks to promote the devices in stores, using specially designed booths to push the benefits of a Silver phone. A previous rumor talked about additional customer service options, including Amazon Mayday-style live video support, and a replacement phone system should the device be lost. It’s also mentioned that Google will take on most of the advertising, leaving the job of designing and producing the phones down to manufacturers.

Google wants to take charge of Android, again

According to the report, all Google wants in return for all this is the opportunity to take control of the software installed on Silver phones. It doesn’t want any user interfaces installed other than the standard Android one, will shun bloated apps, and will to take charge of the software updates. It sounds like Google intends to bring the Nexus and Google Play Edition lines together, and create a custom, high-end phone to showcase an improved Android experience

Google’s supposed to be splashing out on the Silver Project, and is rumored to be investing up to $1 billion in getting it off the ground. LG and Motorola – two obvious candidates – are already being targeted to produce Silver phones. When, or if, the project launches, apparently the U.S. and other key markets will see the devices first, and not only on Google Play, but in special retail environments too. 

The Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5 were primarily judged on their technical abilities, and rock bottom pricing, rather than the software. The Google Play Edition phones attempted to highlight Android’s benefits when installed on familiar hardware, but the limited release and high pricing means has stopped them becoming a roaring success. The question is, if Android Silver is an amalgamation of the two, which way will Google go with pricing? We’re hoping it’ll be the Nexus route, but fear all this talk of high-end devices will mean premium price tags.

There’s no information on when Google intends to launch Android Silver, or if the project is still being developed.

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