New reports indicate that Google is planning to release a branded Nexus device by the end of this year, 2016. You might be quick to assume that the tech giant has chosen to do this to compete directly with Apple and its flagship iPhone device.
And if you think that, you would be correct.
But there is more to it than that. A report from February had suggestes that Google wants more control over the design and building of Nexus phones. As such, the company has gone into discussions with operators and manufacturers that would improve the access to hardware design far surpassing the design of current partners like LG and Huawei (companies which actually produce Nexus phones).
Of course, a move like this is not supremely unprecedented, as Google has already developed the Pixel C Android Tablet entirely using internal efforts. This would be the first phone, however, Google designs from scratch.
And that is what could change the market dramatically. Google’s Android operating system already powers approximately 80 percent of today’s global mobile device market. And, since its inception, Google has committed to developing free software platforms (the Android OS) and leaving the design of handsets to third party manufacturers, like HTC and Samsung. The Nexus has been the only [slight] exception to the rule, but Google did this as, first, an example to developers how to build an Android powered device but also as a means to offer consumers what Google would consider to be a “stock” Android device.
At the same time, Google already works very closely with the manufacturers who design the Nexus devices so it is hard to imagine exactly how different a Google in-house device would be from its present iterations.
Of course, while this idea might excite fans of Android—as this could be a way for Google to truly develop the most user-friendly devices—it could also serve to alienate hardware markers. And, if that is the case, it could also signal Google is finally settling on closing up Android, perhaps as an attempt deflate the circulating falsehood that the Apple iPhone is the only “premium” device on the market.
For now, though, sources only indicate that the first of two in-house Nexus devices carries the code name “Sailfish” and is being built by HTC.