Google bought Motorola Mobility. Many are saying it’s just for the patents (which it might be), while others are saying that it’s actually Google recognizing the importance of vertical integration in the mobile phone space. Regardless, the deal has made many (myself included) believe that Motorola will now be the sole manufacturer of Google’s Nexus line of devices. That isn’t so, says Andy Rubin.
Instead, the process will stay the same as it has been for the past year and a half. Manufacturers bid with each other to win the right to work directly with Google for that year’s Nexus device. Here’s what Rubin, the father of Android, had to say:
We have this strategy where we have this Nexus program, and we have this lead device strategy. That strategy has worked quite well to help focus the team.
What we do is that we select each — around Christmastime of each year — we select a manufacturer that we work very closely with to release a device in that time frame. That includes, also, semiconductor companies and all of the components that go in the device.
Essentially the teams huddle together in one building. They jointly work in these development efforts — they go on for nine to 12 months. And ultimately at the holiday season, or right before it, devices pop out that are based on this effort.
We don’t expect that to change at all. The acquisition is going to be run as a separate business. They will be part of that bidding process, and part of that lead development process. And obviously Android remains open to other partners to use as they are today.
The manufacturer of this year’s Nexus device (rumored to be named the “Nexus Prime”, and running Ice Cream Sandwhich) is yet to be seen.