If what the article reports is true, then Google doesn't even understand the business model that they set up for Android.
Why would any of the Android manufacturers contribute to develop a CPU design that would be shared with other Android manufacturers? They'll still be in the same old race to the bottom selling barely profitable interchangeable Android phones except that they're poorer by the X million dollars that they contributed to develop the CPU.
The people running Google aren't that stupid, are they?
Of course the Google people are very smart. They started this android thing so phones could be their spyware. That was after Apple didn't agree to Google's request to monitor all iPhone calls. Well done Apple !
Now Google wants to standardize android so it can be kept up to date; a big weakness of android is lack of phone updates.
But that means the android phone manufacturers become just manufacturing centres for the identical phone specs.
Such standardization makes all android phones the level of the weakest manufacturer.
Apple must be smiling over this !
For some reason this makes no sense to me. Am I missing something? When did Qualcomm and MediaTek start fabbing their own chips? Aren't they both fabless chip designers? They design chips but don't actually make them. Apple also designs chips but does not make them either.
Both chip makers and chip designers are dealing with a commodity product already. Chips and their designs have been commodities for decades. If one chip or design is not working out, you switch to another chip design. There are tons of chips and designs to interchange for all manner of uses and price points.
If Google wanted to compete with what Apple is doing then they don't need either Qualcomm or MediaTek. For Google to compete with what Apple is doing they would need to hire a 1000 engineers, license the latest ARM or other designs they might need, customize as they see fit and then have the chips fabbed by TSMC, Samsung, Global Foundries, or whoever.
From Qualcomm or MediaTek's point of view, if your customer tells you (dictates) what they want and need for their products, how is that violating anti-trust? Qualcomm could either make some money designing/licensing what Google wants and needs or make little to no money if Google decides to roll their own like Apple is doing. Apple isn't violating anything by designing their own chips and having someone else fab them. I don't see why Google somehow would be.
If any of this is indeed true, I could see Google working with a third party chip designer to specify the ARM or other designs they are looking for. Then have the designs taped down and sent to the fab. Seems pretty reasonable and straightforward to me.
Regardless the chips need to be fabbed by someone like TSMC or Samsung. Now those are two companies it seems nobody can live without these days.
What you don't understand is that Android Phone manufacturers compete against each other for customers. In order to compete they have to differentiate their product from one another.
Differentiation means having features such as processor speed and capability that gives them a competitive advantage over their competitor.
So Android Phone Manufacturers purchase different chips from Qualcomm, MediaTek, or Samsung to give them that competitive advantage. These companies create their own designs just like Intel competes against AMD in creating chips for PC manufacturers.
What Google wants is for all the chip design firms to create the SAME design. This would be like Microsoft asking Intel to stop competing against AMD and for both of them to create the same x86 or x64 chip.
The problem for PC companies is that if Intel and AMD did this, they won't be able to create product differentiation. The analogous problem for Android Phone Manufacturers is that they also won't be able to create product differentiation.
Google seeks to force every Android Phone Manufacturer to create the same hardware using the same software. Sony, Samsung, HTC, LG, etc. would use the same hardware - and the same software without customization.
So how are Android Phone Manufacturers going to attract customers if their competitors create the same phone? They cannot. it forces them in a race to the bottom. It will kill off several of them since profits are already razor thin.
This is why there is resistance to what Google wants to do.
After all - Android is about CHOICE.
Google in particular wants [...] the ability to constantly record the environment, sending images and video to Google for cloud-based analysis.
Is funny, another example of Google destroying value.
Apple and Google were like opposite of each other. One create value while another one destroy. One Customers will paid another one customer get it for free.
Android and Fandroids are all about the specs, so why can't somebody, somewhere, just release a 16 core Android phone with 8 GBs of Ram?
The actual speed, real world performance or battery life of such a device is hardly important. Let's not concern ourselves with trivial matters here. What is of importance are the specs, and those specs ought to make at least a few Fandroids feel better about themselves, for a short while at least.
Because Google would be using their dominance in one market (mobile device OS) to dictate what another market can do. Since Android is on over 75% of the mobile phones, if Google change Android to work only with their new chip designs, this would force chip makers to obtain a license from Google to make compatible chips. And if Google actually contract out to fab their own chip design, then other chip makers are screwed if Google don't license out their proprietary codes for other makers chips to work with Android or Google supplies their own chip at a steep discount. Plus mobile phone makers would be forced to use Google designed chips if they want to sell mobile phones with Android. Samsung is the biggest Android mobile phone maker and is also capable of designing and fabbing their own chips. If Google start controlling the chips that Android can run on, Samsung would lose a big advantage in their market as they would be forced to use the same Google designed chips that all their competitors must use.
Apple is not in this predicament as Apple design their chips for their own phone and their own OS. Since iOS is not available to any other mobile phone makers, Apple is not forcing any other mobile phone makers to use Apple designed chips.
If Google wants to design a chip that is optimized for a version of Android, contract the fabbing of it and use it for their own phone (Nexus) or sell it to other phone makers without predatory pricing, I don't see a problem with that. If chip designers design a better chip for Android and Google then add the changes so that Android will work with that chip. There's nothing wrong with that either. And there would be nothing wrong with Google adding changes to Android that chip makers can take advantage of when designing their own chips for Android. But for Google to enter the chip business with the control they have with Android in the mobile device OS market would be frown upon by anti-trust regulators as this would give Google a big advantage in the chip business and force all Android phone makers into using Google designed chips.
This would be like if Microsoft got into the chip business and then started changing the codes in Windows so that it would be optimized for their own chip design. Microsoft would end up controlling the computer chip market because of a monopoly they have in the computer OS market. That's would be a violation of anti-trust laws. Just like it was a violation of anti-trust when Microsoft used their monopoly in Windows to optimized IE for Windows. This handed Microsoft a monopoly in the browser market as other browsers could not take advantage of Windows coding.
Google needs to constantly find more sources of mining information from their data veins, or "customers" as they like to make them believe. They need to continue to improve their ad model, and add more inputs to be able to renew patents on it by significantly modifying it. If they could pull street view information from every single photo taken on a Google device, that would be huge for them. Never mind the fact that it's a giant invasion of user privacy because they don't care; it's a great source of better photo data.
We all know that Apple earns nearly all the profits from the smartphone market. As a result, Apple is able to deploy technologies that are uniquely available to Apple and would cost a huge amount for rivals to equal. As those rivals are not making much money from smartphones ( even Samsung appears to be doing less well these days ), they have only a limited amount of cash to pay for research. Charging premium prices for high-end Android phones doesn't seem to work when Apple's iPhones set the bar so high. Selling huge quantities of low end phones doesn't work either because the margins are too slim. There doesn't seem to be a sweet spot for Android manufacturers.
Companies exist to make money, if they are not making worthwhile profits they can't continue operating indefinitely. By eliminating the potential to make big profits, Apple has destabilised the Android manufacturing industry. Android can only succeed if it's installed on huge numbers of devices, but manufacturers need to be rewarded for building those devices.
Apple is whipping up a perfect storm for the Android manufacturers. Apple is able to spend lavishly on research and their investments in chip design, power efficiency, new materials and concepts like 3D Touch have allowed iPhones to move way ahead of Android phones. Android manufacturers have to use off-the-shelf components and a general purpose operating system. That does allow them to differentiate their products from other Android devices, but it does little to help them compete against Apple. Google's chip partner proposal doesn't address the fundamental problem faced by Android manufacturers, which is how to be profitable?
Google's view is that a technical solution could solve everybody's problem. The reality is that only a business solution can solve the fundamental problem and what Google is proposing could end up making businesses even less profitable than before because everybody will be using the same chips, so differentiation by selling at a lower price will be the norm. Google and the Android manufacturers are mutually dependent, but Google doesn't appear to understand and is making proposals that will only address the problems that Google faces.
You say that there is not sweet spot for Android phones manufacturers and later say "Android can only succeed if it's installed on huge numbers of devices", huh ? Don't you see these two statements are contrary to each other?
if they can only succeed if its installed on huge numbers of devices then that is by definition it's sweet spot! but as we know the race to the bottom is not working so logically it cannot succeed.
I think you are a very confused person - do you work at Google?
I don't think he's confused. It's one thing for "Android" to succeed, and another thing for individual OEMs to succeed. He is at least aware that there is is a distinction.
The problem with a lot of the prophecies of doom and gloom for Apple is that they don't take into account the distinction. On the one hand, Apple competes with Android OEMs. In another way, Apple competes with Google. There is no "Android" vs Apple.
For "Android" to "succeed" it just means that it remains a viable OS that is worth Google putting resources into. "Being installed on huge numbers of devices" would continue to be a prime motivator there. However, that still doesn't leave any sweetspot for individual OEMs. No contradiction at all.
Samsung's Exynos 7420 was the most powerful phone SoC on the market when it launched in early 2015.
Apple's A9 now holds that title, but I'm sure the cycle will continue.
On one core performance?
Hell, they've stolen so much from Apple already, why not try to clone the hardware now? Next thing, Google will come up with a "Fruit" as their logo. Maybe "Sour Grapes" or a Pear?
Google / Alphabet . . . Just go away!
Apple's A8 was better than that in many aspects.....
There is no contradiction whatsoever in those two comments of mine. My point was perfectly clear to any intelligent person. I was talking about running a successful business operation. There is no sweet spot for Android manufactures where they can have a good expectation of making a worthwhile profit.
Selling modest numbers of high end Android phones is never going to work well when Apple sells a very limited range of high quality models in such vast numbers. Apple can employ technology which is simply not available to others and also benefits from operating on a scale that is an order of magnitude greater than any rival. Selling large numbers of low end Android phones, either for minimal profits or at a loss is clearly never going to be a great business.
Businesses need to make money. They need a business strategy that will work into the future. I would not want to place a bet on any current Android manufacturer still regarding Android handsets as the major part of it's business in five years time and fully expect to see some big names withdraw from that business, just as has happened with Windows PCs and for similar reasons. There are already big question marks over Samsung's financial performance with regard to it's handset division.
My fundamental point is that Google needs to find a way to work with manufactures to make their businesses successful. What is best from Google's POV isn't necessarily best for the manufacturers. New chip designs might tick more boxes when compared to iPhones, but what would the effect be on balance sheets? How would manufacturer A's handset differentiate itself from manufacturer B's handset?
but what custom chip is going to help google? they can put it in their nexus, it can only help (yes- i do mess about with them to see how good they might be).
knowing their rather long arm into your phone- what company would be willing to sacrifice that kind of consumer loyalty? we read often about privacy stuff. in other parts of the world google is not known to be safe (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34698649). and the stories just keep rolling in. why would intel or qualcom risk it- especially since there is (in my nearly humble opinion) little chance of it going into any other phone than the nexus line? or is that the point? shutter everyone else (or try to trump them) and build up the nexus line- because that is the only way that this makes sense.