Many of you know Verizon’s history with Nexus devices. The first Nexus device to ever grace the famous CDMA carrier was the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and it did so while also featuring LTE, something the unlocked version did not support. It should have been an incredibly impressive device; the instant and cutting edge updates of a Nexus device paired with Verizon’s speedy LTE network. But we know that’s not how it turned out.
Verizon basically killed the very point of a Nexus device by not updating it for long periods of time. It was launched with software bugs, and none of them were fixed for many months after release. Updates to later versions of Android were delayed to the point of being as slow as other manufacturers who had to slap skins on Android. It was a ridiculous situation and pissed off a lot of people.
The next Nexus device, the Nexus 4, skipped over Verizon entirely. Google retained its power to update the device as it sees fit by releasing it on one carrier, which allowed updates straight from Google. T-Mobile is cool like that.
Google gave the relationship with Verizon another shot with the Nexus 7 LTE 2013, which supported Verizon LTE bands. Verizon shot it down by saying that tablets need to be approved before they are allowed to be activated on the network. We haven’t heard a word about it since, so the Verizon LTE support is near useless.
The Nexus 5 was launched today, and with it came support for both GSM carriers and Sprint’s CDMA network, but no Verizon. We thought Google was done with Verizon, and honestly, we wouldn’t blame them. But it looks like there is more to it than that, as Google and Verizon are working together on some projects for 2014.
We don’t know what these projects are, but we can only assume that it’s a set of phones and tablets imitating the current Nexus lineup customized to Verizon’s liking. Whether customized to Verizon’s liking means locked bootloaders, slow updates and overall neutered features is anyone’s guess (we guess that’s exactly what it means). But for those stuck on Verizon, it may be better than nothing. Hopefully Google is firm about not messing them up too much. Are you interested in these projects? Leave a comment!