Google To Launch Own Branded Smartphone, Take Over Design
Google is set to shake up the smartphone market with the big search Company set to release their own Google branded smartphone.
The move is set to hurt several struggling Android smartphone makers including Sony, Motorola, Huawei, LG as well as challenge owners of iPhones to switch.
Google management is currently in discussions with mobile operators about releasing a Google-branded phone that will extend the company’s move into hardware, sources familiar with the discussions were quoted recently.
ChannelNews has been told that Telstra and Optus are aware of the move.
Google already develops the Android operating system that runs on four in five smartphones sold around the world, and endorses a range of phones made by partners such as LG and Huawei under the Google Nexus brand.
But unlike Apple, it leaves manufacturing to other companies such as Samsung, with the company concentrating on developing the free software that runs on its phones.
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.
Its own phone would allow Google to control the software, securing the future of services such as the Google search engine and Google Play app store that run on it.
“They are concerned that Android is fragmenting, that it needs to become a more controlled platform,” said Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight. “I think they’ll seek to control it more, more like Apple.”
Google is best known for its internet software but has taken steps into hardware in recent years by releasing its own tablet computer, laptops and other gadgets. Earlier this year it hired Rick Osterloh, the former president of Motorola, to lead a new hardware division in a sign of its growing ambitions.
The company’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, said last month that Google was “investing more effort” into phones, although he said the company would continue to support the Google-backed Nexus smartphones, which are expected to continue this year with handsets made by Taiwanese company HTC. “Our plan is still to work with [other manufacturers],” he said.