Google’s Nexus line of consumer electronics is well-known at this point. Having released its first device – the Nexus One smartphone – in 2010, Google has since expanded the brand which now encompasses a number of smartphones, tablets, and digital media players.
Throughout the entire process, Google has been at the helm when it comes to the design, development and marketing of its Nexus products. But unlike Apple and its iPhone, Google outsources manufacturing duties to a range of partners that have included HTC, Samsung, Motorola and more recently, LG and Huawei.
That will soon be changing.
Sources familiar with the matter tell The Telegraph that Google is in discussions with wireless providers with regard to releasing its own branded smartphone that it would manufacture. The publication says the first non-Nexus smartphone, which will launch later this year, will see Google take more control over the design, manufacturing and software.
Given the fact that former Motorola chief Rick Osterloh recently rejoined Google to head a new hardware division, the revelation shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood said he believes Google is concerned that Android is fragmenting and that it needs to become a more controlled platform.
Those concerns aren’t unfounded as Google’s latest version of Android, Marshmallow, was only installed on 10.1 percent of all Android devices as of earlier this month. In comparison, a whopping 84 percent of Apple devices in the wild are running iOS 9. Wood said he thinks Google will seek to control it more like Apple does.