updated 06:39 pm EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
New move to exercise greater control over ecosystem, prune down bloat
Sources have popped up confirming an ongoing "Android Silver" project by Google. Going forward, the search engine will offer high end "silver" phones with a "pure" version of Android. The Nexus branding is reportedly going to end, with Google reportedly launching the new brand with a major promotional campaign.
Google is hoping to clean up Android's reputation, reduce third-party modifications to the OS on its phones, and retain tighter control over the operating system, akin to Apple's control over the iOS. Likely onboard with the effort are LG and Motorola. Samsung seems unlikely to participate, given its heavily-forked version of Android used in its handsets.
Google is said to be spending as much as $1 billion to entice phone manufacturers to build devices for the program. High-end devices are likely to be the first to launch, in the US and other developed markets that can handle the higher prices associated with them.