Google and their Nexus lineup have long been reserved for a niche market, especially worldwide where many countries never even saw the Nexus 4, 7 & 10 being released.
The Problem: The Android ecosystem is vast wilderness with all blends and variants of Android ranging from Gingerbread to the very latest Jelly Bean flavor with quite different software overlays like TouchWiz & Sense. — Over the course of the last few years this has created a discrepancy and the problem of software updates across the whole spectrum further escalated while Google stood still, helpless.
The goal behind Nexus was to guide the ecosystem. But that will continue as well. – Sundar Pichai
Let’s go back in time. – We’re in late 2010, Android is still an ugly duckling suffering a fragmentation. Manufacturer skins are still widely popular while the first Nexus device can bearly rival with other handsets. The operating system’s metamorphosis to a hybrid phone-tablet solution has just began at Google but the whole project is still in early stages. (It would be later known as ICS).