By Naresh Keshavwar
Android being an open source platform enables OEMs to modify the operating system to add their own interface and additional features. Each OEM has come up with their own skin like Sense by HTC, TouchWiz by Samsung, Optimus by LG etc., which separates their devices from the competition and also adds a value of its own. Although these skins bring some cool new features to the plate, the original flavour of Android gets lost and never reaches the general users.
Google, in 2010, in its efforts to provide the latest and greatest of Android OS in its purest form to general users introduced the Nexus line of smartphones. Google partnered with HTC and launched the first Nexus phone called Nexus One.
What makes the Nexus phones unique? Unlike most of the flagships launched by OEMs, they come with stock Android, unlockable bootloader and are the first devices to receive all the latest Android updates soon after they are launched.
What started as just a device, which runs the latest and greatest Android in its purest form, soon became a brand in its own. The Nexus phones never brought path breaking or revolutionary hardware with them (except the Galaxy Nexus, which was the first phone to have 720p display), but consumers still started to look forward to the Nexus devices as they would be the first to taste the latest features of Android. Also, Google made it a habit to launch new iteration of Android OS with a new Nexus Phone. That automatically helped the Nexus phones gain more publicity and attention.
That’s not the only reason that separates a Nexus phone from other flagships. Google, made sure not to abandon a Nexus phone launched a year or two back with OS updates, as is the case with most OEMs. What that means is Nexus S launched in Dec 2010 with Android 2.3 on board could still be updated to 4.1 Jelly Bean. That’s pretty good S/W support considering most of the OEMs’ track record of providing S/W updates to older phones.
Additionally, with the launch of Galaxy Nexus, Google also started selling Nexus devices in the Play Store in the US, UK and select other markets. The icing on the cake is the subsidy on the price given by Google. The unlocked Nexus 4 is priced at just USD 299 in the US Google Play, which makes it the best phone at the price point.
Nexus phones and India: No Marriage
Tempted to buy a Nexus phone? Wait, you may be in for a disappointment. Although the Nexus brand has grown rapidly after its inception in 2010, it is still a distant dream for Indian smartphone buyers (Nexus S being an exception).
India, one of the rapidly growing mobile markets in the world, is always neglected by Google when it comes to launching a Nexus phone. What surprises me is how a company like Google could neglect such a huge market. The only Nexus device officially launched in the country is the Nexus S phone.
Nexus phones and India: Made for each other?
India, the largest mobile market in the world, is still lagging when it comes to smartphone market share. According to the latest IDC report, smartphone penetration is least In India in the APAC region. This shows the potential Indian mobile market has when it comes to smartphone sales and that makes India the perfect destination for a Nexus phone.
Although all the leading mobile companies have set their shop in India, and are competing with each other for a greater market share, a Nexus phone is still sorely missed and will be a perfect deal of many. The impressive hardware, up-to-date S/W updates and the killer price makes it the perfect smartphone in the price-conscious Indian market. The launch of MMX Canvas HD and the reception it got from the Indian buyers, clearly indicates that a decently spec’d, well built, attractive and rightly priced smartphone is what Indian smartphone buyers want. When we look back at the Nexus phones, they fulfil all the above conditions with backing of a trusted brand.
Also, if one recent report of Google becoming worried about Samsung’s dominance is true, then launching a Nexus phone (which is currently manufactured by LG) in India may also prove fruitful for Google as well.
No matter what may be the reason, and whenever Nexus phones and tablets will be officially be launched in India, but a Nexus phone and India will make a perfect pair and I am optimistic that it will not remain a dream for Indians like you and me.
This is a guest post by Naresh Keshavwar, who is a technology enthusiast and loves to follow the latest happening in the smartphone world with a keen eye.