Google may release self-designed smartphone by end of 2016 - report

Posted:
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Google is reportedly working on a new self-branded phone over which it will exert more design, software, and manufacturing control, putting the company in more direct competition with Apple's iPhone.

Google's current flagship phone, the Huawei-made Nexus 6P.
Google's current flagship phone, the Huawei-made Nexus 6P.


The Google device will ship by the end of the year, one of several sources explained to UK newspaper The Telegraph. While Google been shipping self-branded Nexus devices for years, most of the work has been handled by outside parties like LG, Huawei and HTC. This has nevertheless allowed Google to define the Android platform via products that run "pure" versions of the OS.

Google may be concerned, however, that there's still too much fragmentation in the industry. Because phone makers are mostly free to customize Android, that means that they can install custom apps that steer people away from Google services, where the company generates most of its revenue.

Some vendors are also slow to push out new versions of Android to their customers, particularly people on older hardware. While a Nexus 6P is likely running Android 6.0 or later, non-Nexus devices may sometimes be running 5.x or even 4.x, left there because supporting new devices is more lucrative.

Much of Apple's success with the iPhone has been linked to the company having direct control over both software and hardware, the latter of which is its main profit driver. Google has been growing the number of physical products it offers though, and earlier this year launched a new hardware division under former Motorola president Rick Osterloh.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    More direct competition with Apple, eh? How about more direct competition with its Android partners or do the partners no longer matter? How will Google's new smartphone decrease the growth of fragmentation? I see Google's new smartphone accelerating Android fragmentation due to partners deciding to more fully differentiate themselves from Google. Also, what will Google possibly do differently from the Nexus line that will convince Android customers to jump from Samsung, LG and others outside of China since Google will not be able to sell its new smartphone in China? The Apple angle gets clicks, but the true story is with the Android partnerships..
    calilollivernostrathomaslevi
  • Reply 2 of 39
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 742member
    The corpse of Motorola does not represent a challenge to Apple.  It is only a PR ploy to float their stock price a bit longer to keep the fools on board.
    calibaconstang
  • Reply 3 of 39
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,340member
    The only reason Google is considering this option is because the major Android licensees (Samsung, HTC, etc..) have been grumbling about Google's stranglehold with Android and their admission that they are actively working on their own (and botched) mobile OS to ween themselves off of Android.  It's only a matter of time before they jump ship so Google has no other option but to directly get into the market.

    I'm sure Google is concerned.  Eventually, it will be like the 90's and early 2000's when all the phone makers have their own OS and nothing works with one another.  Apple paved the way early and successfully.  To Apple, it's just another day.  To Google, it's the sign that they will be a footnote in history about what not to do.
    calilollivernolamacguybaconstangmonstrosity
  • Reply 4 of 39
    Everyone wants to be like Apple.

    Watch until this becomes the best Android phone ever, due to the fact that's it's 100% locked down and controlled by Google (hardware and software). Just like the iPhone. Welcome to the walled garden by Google.
    lkrupplolliverpropod
  • Reply 5 of 39
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    I don't think anyone can really predict what this will be like so I'll just say I'll be very interested to see where this goes
  • Reply 6 of 39
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,703member
    More direct competition with Apple, eh? How about more direct competition with its Android partners or do the partners no longer matter? How will Google's new smartphone decrease the growth of fragmentation? I see Google's new smartphone accelerating Android fragmentation due to partners deciding to more fully differentiate themselves from Google. Also, what will Google possibly do differently from the Nexus line that will convince Android customers to jump from Samsung, LG and others outside of China since Google will not be able to sell its new smartphone in China? The Apple angle gets clicks, but the true story is with the Android partnerships..
    Two things: First this is a rumor, and counter to comments made by Pinchai earlier this year so personally I find it doubtful anytime soon if at all.

    Second, if it IS true you're assuming Google would not be allowed to sell in China. While it might actually be a good thing if they couldn't Google is apparently mending fences with the Chinese according to other rumors. If Google Play rolls out there fairly soon as has been reported it would certainly support the possibility of Google-branded phones and services in China to follow. 
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 7 of 39
    Didn't Google tried this already with Motorola  and failed.
    calilolliverbaconstang
  • Reply 8 of 39
    gatorguy said:
    More direct competition with Apple, eh? How about more direct competition with its Android partners or do the partners no longer matter? How will Google's new smartphone decrease the growth of fragmentation? I see Google's new smartphone accelerating Android fragmentation due to partners deciding to more fully differentiate themselves from Google. Also, what will Google possibly do differently from the Nexus line that will convince Android customers to jump from Samsung, LG and others outside of China since Google will not be able to sell its new smartphone in China? The Apple angle gets clicks, but the true story is with the Android partnerships..
    Two things: First this is a rumor, and counter to comments made by Pinchai earlier this year so personally I find it doubtful anytime soon if at all.

    Second, if it IS true you're assuming Google would not be allowed to sell in China. While it might actually be a good thing if they couldn't Google is apparently mending fences with the Chinese according to other rumors. If Google Play rolls out there fairly soon as has been reported it would certainly support the possibility of Google-branded phones and services in China to follow. 
    I agree this is a rumor. On the Pinchai front, a Google employee was quoted telling customers to hold off purchasing new Android smartphones until the Fall if they wanted a smartphone that met the specifications of the Daydream VR HMD. 

    On the China front, I have read the rumors about attempting to mend fences. The problem I saw with what was being written was Google still presented itself as being right while the Chinese government as being not right. To me, this attitude was not good since Google HAS to follow the rules China sets in order to get back into and remain in the country. Also, the stories paint the view that Google's return to China is good for the Chinese people instead of being good for Google's bottom line and data mining. The Chinese government has proven it does not need Google. Google's change of heart has proven Google needs China. Of course, my thoughts are all based on rumors. 
  • Reply 9 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,417member
    If remotely true, they'd be in direct competition with dirt-cheap Chinese suppliers. Remember, there's no "high-end" market for Android. It's all garbage.
    michael scriplkruppcalilolliverbaconstangspinnydanantksundaramnetmage
  • Reply 10 of 39
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member
    Didn't Google tried this already with Motorola  and failed.
    I don't think they ever conceded that it was a failure.  When they sold off the carcass of Motorola Mobility, they said that making phones was boring.
    If this rumor is true, their threshold for boredom must have increased or something.
    baconstang
  • Reply 11 of 39
    It will have fingerprint detection that goes 'one step' further, drawing a minute amount of blood for DNA (and possibly drug) analysis. After all that is about the only thing that Google does not know about you... yet /s
    patchythepiratebaconstangspinnyd
  • Reply 12 of 39
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,847member
    If this is true, Google is fake.  To make a product of its own, the company has to take responsibility of the product.  But this responsibility costs money.  From past deals, Google will not do this.  
    baconstangericthehalfbeenetmage
  • Reply 13 of 39
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Create an iKnockoff to compete with your fellow knockoffs?

    this sounds like trouble. If true, expect more "forks" in the android road. 
    baconstang
  • Reply 14 of 39
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,424member
    Guess what Tony Fadell is working on. 
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 15 of 39
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 933member
    Interesting but I don't see how this will benefit Google core business - unless the phone is capable of collecting personal data through physical sensors?
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 16 of 39
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,949member
    tzeshan said:
    If this is true, Google is fake.  To make a product of its own, the company has to take responsibility of the product.  But this responsibility costs money.  From past deals, Google will not do this.  
    And since Google would be making money, Apple could finally sue Google for patent violations. Google couldn't hide behind the free Android joke. 
    spinnydSpamSandwich
  • Reply 17 of 39
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,703member
    kevin kee said:
    Interesting but I don't see how this will benefit Google core business - unless the phone is capable of collecting personal data through physical sensors?
    I agree, don't see it helping increase revenue. that makes It's just one of several reasons it ain't happinin' IMHO. Just another day of rumors without a basis.
    edited June 2016 kevin kee
  • Reply 18 of 39
    Everyone wants to be like Apple.

    Watch until this becomes the best Android phone ever, due to the fact that's it's 100% locked down and controlled by Google (hardware and software). Just like the iPhone. Welcome to the walled garden by Google.
    "Welcome to the monitored garden by Google."
    tmaypatchythepirate
  • Reply 19 of 39
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,011member
    Isn't there an ex-Microsoft Surface team going cheap?
    baconstang
  • Reply 20 of 39
    BismarkBismark Posts: 6member
    sflocal said:
    The only reason Google is considering this option is because the major Android licensees (Samsung, HTC, etc..) have been grumbling about Google's stranglehold with Android and their admission that they are actively working on their own (and botched) mobile OS to ween themselves off of Android.  It's only a matter of time before they jump ship so Google has no other option but to directly get into the market.

    I'm sure Google is concerned.  Eventually, it will be like the 90's and early 2000's when all the phone makers have their own OS and nothing works with one another.  Apple paved the way early and successfully.  To Apple, it's just another day.  To Google, it's the sign that they will be a footnote in history about what not to do.
    As of now Android is best for HTC, Samsung and all the other OEMs on every front. Google does most of the hard work, all the OEMs have to do is throw it on a phone. It would require a lot more money to R&D an entire OS from scratch.

    Also we know from the windows phone experience that a new OS will have an uphill battle. People like Android I know for many that is a surprise to hear. While working for a telecom I ran into customers who had purchased windows phones and where angry it was not Android. Many of them were lied that it was just like an Android by a sells rep. Fact is it is an up hill battle to start a new OS both iOS both have 1mil plus apps available. That's a large gap to attempt to fill. Everyone has a contingency plan that's business but their first plan is Android. 

    Also Google still does not put to much control over Android. They only have requirements for being able to get the google services on the device. If you want you could build your on version of Android place it on a phone and it can be a clone of MacOs and Google will not care.
    edited June 2016
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