Google unveiled an entirely new line of Nexus devices in a range of shapes and sizes, from the Nexus 4 smartphone to the Nexus 10 tablet, and some aspects of the product launch proved confusing. Why build a smartphone with modern specifications across the board, and then leave out LTE connectivity? Or why push more and improved Nexus tablet hardware, when there’s a surprising paucity of apps designed for those screens? A new interview by the NYT’s Brian X. Chen with John Lagerling, Google’s Director of Business Development for Android, provides some answers to those questions, and illuminates how Google approaches its signature Nexus line of devices.
The bottom line is that what Google wants to do with Nexus is a completely different thing from Apple’s strategy with its own iOS hardware, or, for that matter, from the goals of other OEMs creating Android devices. Lagerling goes through the standard checklist of specs and features on the Nexus 4 and talks up pushing the envelope in terms of delivering improved storage options at existing price points on Nexus 7 tablets, but the real meat of the story comes when he’s faced with a question about the paltry selection in terms of dedicated tablet apps on Google Play, and instead of answering directly, launches into a discussion of the overall point of the Nexus program: