After Google bought Motorola Mobility this morning, Mountain View naturally had a conference call with its investors. We listened in, and we got a little rare insight into how the Nexus program works.
So next time your kid asks you, "Mummy, where do Nexuses come from?" you'll have an answer.
The Nexus program is what Google uses to raise the bar for hardware manufacturers. It's gotta run the latest and greatest version of Android, and it's gotta run it well. Every year around Christmas time, Google picks a hardware manufacturer to make the next Nexus phone. They then have about nine months to build it. Interesting. We knew that Google works closely with whomever is building their next Nexus, but it sounds like Google is calling the shots even more than we thought. It would appear that they say what they need, and then manufacturers climb over each other and bid to build the thing.
You might be wondering if Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility will give Motorola a leg up. Google says no, they will have to bid to build it just like everyone else. Hooray for competition!
On the call there was also a lot of mention of in-home devices, which was a surprise since the purchase was for Motorola Mobility (Moto's mobile devision), specifically. Motorola's CEO Sanjay Jha said, "There is a great convergence between the mobile world and the content that enters the home through the set-top boxes." Could this mean Motorola will play a key role in the evolution of Google TV? Time will tell.
You might wonder why Google just blew $US12.5 billion on Motorola if they aren't going to be the next Nexus factory. The answer lies not only in the 17,000+ patents Motorola already owns, but also in the thousands more that Moto has "in-process". Google wouldn't say exactly how they'll leverage those against the many lawsuits that have been levelled against them, but they did say that they feel this acquisition will better protect them.
So, will the next next Nexus be made by Moto? Well, the last rumours still point to Samsung, which would make two in a row for the big S, following last year's Nexus S, but you know how these rumours go, and there may yet be a Moto surprise for us all.