The Motorola devices, however, are not Nexus devices. The current version of Android running on Nexus is 4.2.1. Some of the Motorola devices just got 4.1, but many Motorola devices are not there yet, and some will never get there. Some won't even get to 4.0, even though it was launched more than a year ago.

Demand for "pure Nexus" has increased dramatically in recent months as more consumers realize they don't want to have phone manufacturers and mobile network operators force Android modifications upon them. Consumers want their OS upgrades, and they want them as soon as Google issues them.

If you buy a non-Nexus device, you may have to wait three to 18 months for an OS upgrade, if you receive one at all. This is unacceptable under any circumstance, and that's why demand for Nexus Android devices is going through the roof. The wait list to buy a Nexus 4 directly from Google has been mostly one month or more since it launched almost three months ago. That's longer wait times than for the iPhone at launch!

So here is Google's problem, among many. On the one hand, it's got Nexus smartphones, which have the software people want. On the other hand, it's got Motorola smartphones, and at least one of those models has the battery life people -- and Larry Page -- want.

Why can't Google sell us smartphones -- and for that matter other devices -- that have both great battery life and the right, unmolested software, i.e., Nexus?

From the outside, it seems that Google is not talking to itself. It's got a person running Motorola in Illinois: Dennis Woodside. It's got another person allegedly in charge of hardware: Lior Ron, according to media reports. So who is running the Android hardware show at Google?

When Larry Page says on the quarterly conference call that battery life is a "huge issue," is he talking to Motorola in Illinois? Is he talking to the Nexus group across the street from his office in Mountain View, Calif.? If he is, nobody has been listening.

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