No Matter What Google Says, We’d Be Shocked If Anyone But Motorola Made Nexus Phones Now

Nexus S

[credit provider=”Dan Frommer, Business Insider”]

Now that Google has its hands on Motorola, the question is what it will do when it when it develops its next phone or tablet.For the last two years, Google has partnered directly with a manufacturer to develop its Nexus-branded devices. First came the Nexus One by HTC. Last year we got the Nexus S by Samsung.

This year?

That’s a tricky question.

In today’s announcement and on its call with investors, Google made it clear that the Motorola acquisition would not halt its relationship with other Android manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, and LG. Android will remain open for anyone to use.

But we all know its the Nexus-branded device that gets the latest and greatest Android features first. You can bet that will be the next Nexus

Most rumours say Samsung will be making the next Nexus, sometimes called “Nexus Prime.” Considering Google said today that it seeks out a hardware partner nine months before it plans on releasing a Nexus phone, we believe it.

But next year?

It’s going to be Motorola.

Why would Google work hand in hand with one of its hardware competitors? We’d be shocked if anyone but Motorola got dibs on a Nexus phone or even a Nexus tablet.

Even before the acquisition, Google has had a strong relationship with Motorola. Motorola worked closely with Google to launch the original Droid, the phone that jump-started Android’s rise to dominance. (For more on that, read this excellent article from Wired.)

Motorola also introduced the first Honeycomb tablet, the Xoom, setting off a flood of Honeycomb-powered tablets by several more manufacturers.

It would be insane for Google to choose anyone but Motorola to develop all future Nexus devices. It would be like Apple introducing iOS 5 on a Samsung phone instead of the iPhone 5.

Google is a hardware company now, and it’s going to stick with its own.