Ole Eichhorn (in addition to sending some much appreciated wishes for my recovery), asks the following about the Nexus:
"But doesn't this seem like a false move on Google's part, akin to Microsoft competing with Dell and HP? The platform strategy here is very interesting..."
I think Google's move is no mistake, and the analogy to the PC market is false in this case. Both for the same reason: Wireless carriers.
PC vendors have never been forced to deal with a distribution channel with such divergent interests in product sales, up to and including desires to cripple functionality in the interests of maintaining customer control (the so-called 'walled garden'). Handset vendors, in contrast, are near-captives of the existing carrier distribution system, and may not dare to work around it, in fear of retribution in the next buying cycle.
In this setting, Google's move fulfills two purposes. As a high end examplar of what can be done with the Android platform, Nexus will set market expectations for smart phone functionality among end users. Since it is both high end and non-subsidized, it will do this at a price point that ensures it is a niche product. Its cannibalization of mainstream market sales from other Android licensees will be minimal, and its capability to drive functionality expectations could be profound.
Google's second purpose is to do something that Android licensees cannot do for themselves: Test the market (and political) waters for non-subsidized smart phone sales. Google has been pushing the view that all net access should be open and 'neutral'. Nexus is a double down on this bet, proposing that wireless access device and access network should be independent choices, just as in the PC and wire-line markets. A proof-point that the market will pay for this freedom will benefit Google, but also any Android licensees dreaming of a future in which their fate is more independent of the carriers.
Nexus is no mistake; it's a cunning plan.