Oct 16 AT 4:18 PM Dustin Earley 61 Comments

What would a name like the Nexus 4 mean for the Nexus program?


Just a couple weeks ago, I found myself complaining about the lack of Nexus rumors and leaks. Now my brain can hardly keep up. At this point, it’s safe to say we know who’s going to manufacture the next big Nexus device, along with what it will look like and what version of Android it will run: LG, a prom-dress and Android 4.2. But what about the name? It could be more important than you think.

Just under a week ago now, a picture showing the internal product database for Carphone Warehouse in the UK gave us a clue as to what LG’s Nexus device may be called when it’s released later this fall. Previous rumors pointed towards it releasing as the Optimus Nexus, but Carphone Warehouse’s database lists it as the Nexus 4.

A picture from an internal database is never the best source for information by itself, but that isn’t what has me seriously contemplating a name like the Google Nexus 4. It’s the combination of that, the Nexus 7 before it, and some EXIF data that bears the same name.

Photos taken from the “Nexus 4″ have appeared online from both a Google employee in Texas, and an LG facility in Pyeongtaek. EXIF data can be easily faked, but the sources of the Nexus 4 photos do lend some credibility to their authenticity.

We have photos taken by LG and Google employees from a device labeled “Nexus 4.” We have an internal product listing for the Nexus 4. And we have the Nexus 7, which got its name from its 7-inch screen. It’s totally feasible then for LG’s Nexus, with a 4.x-inch screen, would be named the Nexus 4.

Google has a unique opportunity to consolidate their branding in a way that consumers can understand, but it depends on limiting the amount of devices they carry.

By going all out with the simplified branding behind the Nexus 7, the Nexus name is finally gaining its own legs to stand on. The Nexus One and Nexus S were practically nonexistent to consumers, and the Galaxy Nexus was just another “Galaxy phone.”

There’s no way to distort the branding for the Nexus 7. The 7 means 7-inch display, Nexus means Google. It could be that simple for Google’s entire line of Nexus devices.

To answer the title question, I think it would mean Google wants to take control of Android. Google doesn’t have a problem printing the manufacturer on the back of the Nexus 7, but do you know how many times the word ASUS appears on the product page for the Nexus 7? Zero. The opening words on the page are, “the first tablet from Google.” The only time the word ASUS appears is on the render of the Nexus 7, but it’s in the shadows. You wouldn’t know it was there unless you were looking for it.

I can’t help but think that if Google ever wants Nexus to really succeed, which it appears they do, they need to do what they did with the Nexus 7 to a phone. No Galaxy, Xperia, Optimus or Razr. Just Nexus. Just Google.

Whether or not other Nexus phones will be released this year is still anybody’s guess. So long as one of them is simply the Nexus 4 though, it shows that the Nexus name actually means something to Google. And that it won’t be going away anytime soon.

I could be reading into this whole thing way too much. But hey, that’s my job. To serve you up some food for thought. So what do you think? Should Google stick with the branding style behind the Nexus 7 and release a Nexus 4 as the flagship Google phone, or should they be a little looser? Does the Optimus Nexus make more sense alongside the Galaxy Nexus and whatever else may appear down the line? You’ve heard my opinion, now I want to hear yours.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

    Most Tweeted This Week