The Wall Street Journal (via Engadget) is reporting on something that is good news for customers and not so good for mobile carriers. Apparently Google is partnering with five different device makers to create new Nexus devices for the 2012 holiday season. These devices will allegedly run Android 5.0 (rumored to be called Jelly Bean), and will be sold in unlocked form straight from Google.
So what does this all mean? If this report turns out to be true, it will provide customers with the option of cutting contracts with carriers completely. Their Nexus device will only need to be compatible with the network(s) they choose to use. They can opt for a prepaid plan instead. It also means the end of carrier bloatware and delayed update cycles that have plagued Android since the beginning.
Purchasing an unlocked device also means the customer will need to spend more money up front. Google will have to come up with some kind of subsidy program if this is to really take off. A lot of people just don't have $500 to spend on a phone.
It's also worth pointing out that this isn't the first time a rumor like this has come up. Back in June 2011, BGR reported that carriers were expected to have their own flagship Android 4.0 device made by different manufacturers. Of course, the Galaxy Nexus was, and still is the only pure Android 4.0 smartphone available.
Source: The Wall Street Journal