A report claims that Google is set to drop its own line of pure Android handsets in favor of a new program that will persuade manufacturers to build higher-quality phones of their own.
According to sources that spoke to The Information, the program goes by the name of Android Silver and is Google's way of getting handset makers to focus not just on premium internal components, but on design too. And not just the phone's physical characteristics, but user experience too.
People briefed on the matter that spoke to the publication claim that "manufacturers and wireless carriers will effectively be paid to produce and sell high-end devices that closely adhere to Google specifications" and that it will enable Google to scrap the Nexus line of phones and tablets.
Android Police has also unearthed Google presentation slides referring to the program and they emphasize that for a handset to be considered a 'Sliver' edition it will have to run a more or less pure version of Android with very little if any tweaks or customizations.
The slides also suggest that only five phones at any one time can have 'Silver' status and will be marketed differently from other Android smartphones.
As well as improving the Android ecosystem's reputation for quality design and premium materials -- so far HTC and Sony are essentially carrying everyone else when it comes to using things other than plastic in construction -- the phones are meant to offer a seamless transition for their owners.
If they're new to Android, a Google account will be set up for them automatically and if they're moving from another handset, data and apps will be automatically migrated to the new phone.
Android Police stresses in its report that although the evidence in support of the Silver program is strong, it would only award the story a 6/10 in terms of how likely it is to turn out to be true.