RIP Nexus, hello Pixel

Google Pixel

David Ruddock for Android Police:

Speaking to two independent sources, we now strongly believe that Google’s formerly-maybe-Nexus-phones, Marlin and Sailfish, will be marketed as the Pixel and the Pixel XL. We do not have pricing information. At this time, it is unknown to us when Google decided to shift its in-house smartphone brand from Nexus to Pixel or why (though speculation will likely run wild).

The Pixel will be the 5″ Sailfish device, while Pixel XL will be the 5.5″ Marlin. As to our confidence in this information: given that our two sources are independent, and the fact that one in particular has been exceptionally reliable in the past, we feel comfortable saying you can take this to the bank. Coupled with Android Central’s breaking story on Tuesday that the phones would not be branded as Nexuses – what else could they even be branded as?

This seems like a purely business decision, with Google likely wanting to take the Pixel name mainstream to compete with the likes of Samsung, and others. Although this loses a bit of water when you notice that it’s (apparently) HTC building the hardware here and not Google themselves. I’ll be sad to see Nexus put to rest, but it’s never felt like much more than Google’s testing ground for Android rather than a proper mobile experience for the everyday consumer, although it had every right to be.

Given this news and the rumoured cancellation of Google’s modular Ara phones, it seems like the company is really focusing on a solid plan for their hardware line. So much so that they’ll apparently be skipping the usual half-baked “there are new phones in the Google Store, go buy them” style announcement and going with a formal, much more Apple-like unveiling. This makes a ton of sense if they actually want regular people to know that they exist and, you know, buy them.