Google, Inc. Goes From Nexus One to Nexus Done

Rumor has it that Google is about to end its Nexus series of Android devices. Here's why this totally unconfirmed report makes lots of sense.

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:30PM


The Nexus One, resplendent in its 2010-era makeup. Source: Google.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has been selling smartphones and tablets under the Nexus brand since 2010. The only Android devices officially offered by Google itself, the line has included hardware designs by HTC, Samsung, LG, and Asus. The devices have served as developer platforms with the least embellished version of the Android operating system, but also found traction with consumers in recent years.

And now, rumor has it that 2014 could be the last hurrah for Google's Nexus brand. Well-respected mobile industry watcher Eldar Murtazin said so in one tantalizing tweet, naming no sources but making a metric ton of sense:

I can think of at least four reasons why Murtazin should be spot-on with this wildly unofficial announcement:

  1. Google has never given a Nexus assignment to Motorola Mobility, which now is a division of Google itself. It's high time to take ownership of Android hardware, in a way that the Nexus program never really allowed.

  2. Murtazin says that Nexus will be replaced by another Google-blessed brand. I'm assuming this will be an exclusive Motorola affair, and that the new brand will be aimed directly at consumers rather than developers and other industry insiders. The Nexus devices may have been capable, but they were never particularly sexy. Expect this to change with new, bold design choices -- far from the plainspoken simplicity of the Nexus series.

  3. This could be the perfect time to separate Google from the aging Nexus name. Smartphone growth is stagnating, since Android and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone devices have replaced the dumber "feature phones" as the most popular type of mobile phone. So why not reboot the mobile market with unheard-of features, the aforementioned new designs, and a totally fresh brand name? Don't expect Apple to go this route, given the huge brand value the company has built in the iPhone name, but the more diverse Android side of the mobile market seems more amenable to a branding reboot.

  4. Nexus

    The Nexus 5, probably one of the last Nexus-branded gadgets. Source: Google.

    Google likes to play games. The Nexus phones and tablets were arguably named after the Nexus 6 in Philip K. Dick's classic short story, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which many readers will recognize as the basis for the hit movie Blade Runner. If so, this year's Nexus 6 smartphone would be an appropriate end to the series, notwithstanding the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. The Nexus tablets took a different course from the start, being named for their size rather than a serial progression, so they don't really count against the Electric Sheep parameters.

In a nutshell, the Nexus brand has played its part and it's time for Google to take on Apple head-to-head with an in-house brand of consumer-oriented smartphones. This happens just as smartphones transition from high end and upscale to bog-standard commodity gear, and I for one can't wait to see what Google -- and Apple! -- have up their sleeves for the next mobile generation.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Google. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

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KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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