Re: Don't get it
"There are lots of reasons why Google doesn't make the Nexus devices with its own subsidiary, chief among is most likely not wanting to piss off your partners by competing directly with them"
Except it does on two levels. Every Nexus 5 will be a mid-to-top-end smartphone not sold by the hardware-only phone makers, and in the background you've got Moto continuing to grind out handsets at a loss, even with a free OS.
But disagreeing doesn't answer the question about why Moto don't make Nexus devices. As far as I can see, it's a learning experiment, and/or defensive move. Making hardware probably won't be part of Google's long term plans, but Google branded devices might well be. So Motorola needs to be re-saleable, without any tie ins to Google, and for that reason they don't want Motorola to have the Nexus contract. But they will be learning from Motorola about the art of the possible, and about the technology which helps in negotiations with the companies bidding to make Nexus devices, so a not-too-threatening level of sales suits Google just fine. And the defensive strategy is that owning a hardware house will mean that if (for example) Samsung decided to jump ship to a rival OS, Motorola can throw down the gauntlet on price and capability with near immediate effect, probably based on a phone that's already on the market, or in the pipeline.