Android’s Nexus devices are the closest thing that we’re able to get to a pure “Google Phone,” but they don’t totally fit that description since Google partners with other companies on making Nexus hardware. According to a new report, though, that could soon change.
A report from The Information claims that Google is interested in taking more control over future Nexus hardware. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has reportedly told his Google colleagues and some folks outside of the company that Google wants to be more in charge of creating Nexus devices.
Details on Google’s plans are light, but today’s report says Google wants an “Apple-like” strategy. That suggests that Google could design the hardware and everything that goes into a new product and then get a company to build it. This new hardware wouldn’t feature that company’s branding or anything like that, though. It sounds like Google wants to create phones in a manner similar to the Pixel C, a new Android tablet that is totally Google-designed.
The report also mentions that HTC may still be interested in building new Nexus phones for 2016. HTC is reportedly not happy about Google’s ambition to be more “Apple-like” with Nexus hardware, but it’s possible that this year’s Nexus devices could be similar to past Nexus hardware, with Google taking more control in the future.
It’s said that Google’s goal in taking more control of Nexus products is to beef up Android’s high-end and become less reliant on Apple for generating mobile service revenue. To do so, though, Google would need to do a better job of getting its Nexus hardware in front of consumers. It’s improving lately with TV commercials for the Nexus 5X and 6P, but if Google really wants to take a piece of Apple’s pie at the high-end, it’ll need to do more. Many US consumers still go through their carrier to buy new phones, and so getting its phones in carrier stores could help Google’s effort. Whether or not Google would strike a deal with the carriers to get its phones on their shelves remains to be seen.