With the new Nexus editions of various (er, two) Android flagships, the obvious question was: Is Google done with custom hardware in the mould of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7?
The answer? Absolutely not. That’s according to Android/Chrome guy Sundar Pichai, who also seems quite relaxed about Samsung’s utter domination in the Android field.
Traditionally, Nexus hardware has been exclusive. You couldn’t, for example, buy a non-Nexus version of the Nexus 4. Well, not strictly speaking (it was loosely based on the LG Optimus G). Maybe the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a better example.
More recently, however, we’ve been introduced to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google/Nexus editions – or whatever the heck we’re calling them; essentially existing flagship devices running stock Android instead of the manufacturer’s own lovely bloatware.
But Sundar Pichai says we should expect more custom Nexus hardware in future, hopefully continuing the wallet-friendly theme set by the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7.
"The goal behind Nexus was to push on hardware too," crooned Pichai at D11. "The goal behind Nexus is to make sure we always are investing in cutting edge hardware along with our partners and guiding the ecosystem to the next devices we need to do. So that will continue as well."
Pichai describes stock Android as "how we intended the user experience to be on Nexus devices." Death to Sense and TouchWiz!
As for Samsung’s domination in the Android world, Pichai purred: "We actually owe a lot of success in Android to what [Samsung has] done. A vast majority of their phones are based on Android, so I see a pretty symbiotic relationship, and we intend to keep it that way.
“Look at Intel and Microsoft, they collaborated for many years."
A recent report asserted that Samsung grabbed a whopping 95% of all Android profit in Q1 2013, with the suggestion that the South Koreans – being such a big player – could start claiming dibs on new versions of Android before its rivals.