The Telegraph reports Google is working on its own self-branded smartphone, which will likely launch by the end of this year. The report indicates the search giant is looking for a way to compete directly with devices from Apple and Samsung.
The report says “sources familiar with the discussions” claim the company plans to debut a self-branded device that will be separate from its current Nexus lineup of phones. The Nexus handsets are designed and manufactured via partnerships with other companies, such as HTC and LG. The search giant is said to already be in talks with carriers about the release of such a phone.
Although Android runs on the majority of smartphones sold globally, Apple still dominates the lucrative high-end of the market. The proliferation of Android device makers, many of which apply the software differently, means Google has struggled to ensure consistency, with some smartphone owners waiting months for updates, and some manufacturers relegating Google’s own internet services which are included in Android.
Google’s own internal handset division would take full control over the design, manufacturing, and software of the new device. Last month, company CEO Sundar Pichai said the firm was “investing more effort” into phones, but did not go into details about the increased effort. Another indication that the company might be making a hardware move is former president of Motorola Rick Osterloh’s return to the firm to take over hardware development on the firm’s Nexus phones and its OEM partnerships.
Google Would Gain More Control, But With Risks
By manufacturing its own branded handsets, Google would gain complete control over the software on the devices, such as their search engine and the Google Play app store that runs on it.
Such a move could hold a bit of risk for Google, as the European Union already claims the company has abused Android’s dominant place in the smartphone market, formally charging the firm in April with monopoly abuse. The EU claims the search giant uses the dominance of Android and the Google Play store to push its own search engine and Chrome web browser.
Google declined to comment on the story when contacted by The Telegraph.