Google could launch its rumored Android Silver program in February 2015, according to a new tip from Twitter account @evleaks first spotted by 9to5Google.
The rumor comes just after @evleaks also tweeted that Google is finished releasing Nexus smartphones, adding that there's "a silver lining to this cloud."
This isn't the first time we've heard that Google may axe its Nexus line.
Back in January, Russian tech blogger Eldar Murtazin tweeted that Google will cut its Nexus line in 2015 and replace it with Play Edition smartphones—in other words, handsets from prominent Android smartphone vendors that run the pure version of Android.
Murtazin added that these Play smartphones would be rebranded, which sounds a lot like what we've heard about Android Silver so far.
The program, if previous leaks and rumors prove legitimate, would signify a complete overhaul of Android from Google's perspective. As previous rumors have hinted, Google would kill its Nexus brand in favor of Silver in an effort to establish Android as a more premium player in the smartphone market. The Information reported much of this last month.
Google will reportedly partner with Android smartphone manufacturers to sell their phones under the Silver brand. Google would limit the number of third-party apps on these handsets, hinting that they'll run the on stock Android rather than modified versions of the software.
Google could even pour millions, maybe even $1 billion, into promoting Silver devices through ad campaigns and kiosks at carrier retail locations, The Information reported.
A large part of Android Silver would also be customer support, as a leak from Android Police hinted in early April. Android Silver customers would have 24/7 access to support services through Google Hangouts, and Google may even offer loaner devices through the program for those who have had their handsets lost or stolen.
If the rumors hold up, Android Silver could be Google's attempt at wrestling Android back from Samsung while also positioning it as a top-tier competitor to the iPhone. If Google is planning some radical changes for Android, we may hear some details at its annual developers conference, Google I/O, next month.
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