To me, the biggest impact is this:
The phones would be designed to extend Google’s recent efforts to control its presence on Android devices more than it has in the past, like the mandatory ‘Powered by Android’ logo on boot screens and the folder of Google-created apps. Silver devices will also get more timely Android updates, like Nexus hardware.
Seems like a shot across Samsung’s bow.
In fact, part of the motivation behind Google’s Silver program is said to be winning back more control of Android from Samsung in particular. Reports have long suggested there could be some unease at Google about the amount of influence Samsung has over Android given its dominant global market share.
This move is sure to extend the fragmentation in the Android market, meaning fewer phones will be running the latest and greatest.