Google is looking to expand its Nexus program by partnering with up to five manufacturers for early access to future Android versions. Google then could sell the devices directly through the Google Play Store, circumventing carriers.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is shifting its Nexus strategy, which originally started as a direct partnership with one manufacturer, to a strategy that includes multiple partners. Speculation suggests the move will also assuage OEM fears that Google will favor Motorola, which it recently purchased.
When Google launched the Nexus program, it worked with HTC to develop the Nexus One smartphone, Google then sold directly unsubsidized. Google recently worked with Samsung to create the Galaxy Nexus smartphone for the Android Ice Cream Sandwich launch, which was sold through the traditional carrier partners before also being offered by Google unsubsidized and unlocked.
Now, the company is looking to take full advantage of its Google Play Store by releasing more devices including tablets in the coming months. Google is hoping that the new Nexus program would essentially boost tablet sales.
ASUS is rumored to be launching the first Google-branded tablet. However, now with report that the Nexus program is expanding, we might see various companies such as HTC and Samsung produce a Nexus tablet.