We first heard about Google’s “Android Silver” program earlier this month. It appears to be an effort to reduce fragmentation across the Android platform. The idea is to unify sale and support experience of select Android devices, presumably high-end models only, of which only five will be selected for Silver status at any given time. Additional details have now surfaced about the rumored Android Silver program, including the claim that it will formally end Google’s popular Nexus lineup.
The Information hears from “four people briefed on the project” that under this program carriers and manufacturers will effectively be paid to develop and sell high-end Android devices that adhere to Google’s specifications, which include a restriction on the number of non-Google apps that can be pre-installed on those devices.
It is also claimed in the report that all Android Silver smartphones will receive prompt software updates, which has always been a major selling point of Nexus hardware. Google is expected to pay for marketing of Silver devices at carriers and retailers itself, the program will reportedly be open to multiple manufacturers.
These details may very well be tentative as the sources believe Android Silver will be launched in U.S., Germany and Japan “as soon as next year.” This means that there will be ample time in between for changes or even a complete revamp of the program. Google hasn’t dropped any hints about it just yet so its best to take all of this with a grain of salt for now.