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Google could swap Nexus line with Google Play by 2015

Google will end the Nexus series of devices in favor of Google Play Edition smartphones, a Russian blogger reports.

Could the Nexus 5 be among the last "Nexus" smartphones from Google? Josh Miller/CNET

Google will phase out the Nexus line of devices in favor of more Google Play Edition products, or so says Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin.

According to Murtazin's sources, Google will introduce two or three more Nexus-branded products this year, but will discontinue the sub-brand in 2015. This bligger indicates that Google will rebrand the Play Edition as the Nexus replacement.

On one hand, the rumor makes some sense. There are Google Play devices from a number of top handset makers, for example for the Moto G, Samsung Galaxy S4, and HTC One.

If these companies can push out software updates in a timely manner, there's no reason to have a redundant Nexus line.

On the other hand, it's hard to imagine that Google will want to walk away from a brand it's spent five years developing. Sure, customers could ultimately come to understand and appreciate the new line, but it could take a while.

What's more, the more modestly-appointed Nexus line has been generally far less expensive than the Google Play Editions, for example $400 for the 32GB Nexus 5 versus the higher-end Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition, for $650.

Naturally, there's much to flesh out here; the rumor seems to have sprouted up from nowhere in particular. But, with a good 12 months to go before we know for sure, there's plenty of time for conflicting reports to surface, or for Google to change course entirely.