The one standout aspect of any Nexus device would be its longevity. Google can completely forget about the device, but if it’s popular enough with developers, its obsolescence could be delayed until the end of time.
Case in point: the Nexus 4. Soon the device would be five years of age, and would still be running on the latest Android version thanks to the efforts of folks working on CyanogenMod ROMs.
As such, the Nexus 6P – arguably the most successful pure Android device to date – has plenty of mileage left before it really bites the dust. And Google is making a terrible mistake by not tapping into its new potential.
By ‘new potential’, we mean its potential as a mid-range device; well, sort of a quasi mid-range device due to how it’s currently positioned in Google’s portfolio of phones, as per Google’s Project Fi service.
There’s the budget Nexus 5X which costs $200, followed by the $400 Nexus 6P that’s sandwiched in the middle by the range-topping Pixel at $650. Perhaps the Nexus 6 can be considered alongside the 6P as well, given that Google officially supports it still.
So, what mid-range potential are we talking about here? Well, the potential to make it big globally of course. In order for Google to reach the same heights as Apple and Samsung in selling smartphones, it would need a worldwide reach.
The mass appeal of the new Pixel devices would go some ways in helping Google reach a much broader audience, but how can they generate any demand when their prices are out of reach for so many in less affluent markets abroad? Imagine forking out over $4,000 for a phone – that’s a rough idea of how much the Pixel XL costs via the local currencies of some markets in Asia.
One possible solution for this would be for Google to make the Nexus 6P a little more affordable. The $200 Nexus 5X is a stellar deal, but is known to be riddled with reliability issues. The real winning model here is the Nexus 6P, and by making it more affordable to other markets, Google could easily extend its influence beyond US borders.
If folks abroad didn’t buy the Nexus 6P before this, why would they do so now? Well, for one there’s the halo effect brought upon by the Pixel and Pixel XL. There was so much hype surrounding their recent release on the Internet that anyone with a decent connection online would at least be aware of it.
And one great feature of Project Fi for those who find its plans too pricey is that it allows users to deactivate the service at any time. This means that one could take advantage of the discounted prices during purchase and deactivate the service upon receiving their phones.
Plus there are folks who have been counting on Google to follow in the footsteps of other OEMs. The launch of any new flagship is almost always followed by gradual and permanent price cuts of prior range-toppers. That hasn’t happened for the Nexus 6P, unfortunately.
Finally, if the Nexus 6P wasn’t so attractive before, it should be with the new features that have and will trickle down from the Pixel duo. Camera NX, which allows the 6P access to the improved sharp-shooting functionalities of its successors, is one good example.