This story from The Verge pushes a narrative that we are likely to hear more of in the near future, about the new Nexus 5 being a carefully crafted device that is built to represent the best experience that Android has to offer:
The hardware and the software tell a more ambitious story: older Nexus devices were Android phones, but the Nexus 5 is the first true Google phone. Every Nexus phone has essentially been a hardware variant of an existing device, and as we noted in our review, the Nexus 5 is based on the same internals as the LG G2.
So the phone that is supposed to tell us more about Google than any other piece of hardware on the market is basically just an LG G2 on the inside? Yeah, that actually sounds about right.
If that just reads like more snark from another Apple fanboy, keep reading. In reality, that one detail regarding the Nexus 5's borrowed internals is actually quite revealing about just how difficult it is for a web services company to suddenly transform itself into a world-class hardware company: even their best effort may end up necessitating that they choose the path of least resistance in some areas.
Despite the stories you've surely heard by now about Steve Jobs driving his troops to achieve the impossible, finding greatness in hardware design is more than simply a matter of deciding to do so. When Apple released the first iPhone in 2007, it represented the culmination of over 30 years of computer design and manufacturing experience. The iPhone was the world's best hardware manufacturer putting it's best foot forward, and each subsequent iPhone has only added to Apple's legacy of fussing over every last detail, even it it necessitates that you commission the production of a new kind of super-strong glass, design custom silicon, and pioneer an intensely sophisticated assembly process. These are the kind of innovations required of being the best in the world at what you do, and Google's Nexus 5- however superior it may be to other options on the Android platform- proves that you can't easily change your core identity simply because you believe it's a good idea.