According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is going to give multiple smartphone and tablet manufacturers early access to the latest builds of Android to build devices and then sell those directly to consumers through the Play Store. Google will supposedly have these devices ready in time for the launch of the next version of Android, code named Jelly Bean, which is ser to bow in November.
In the past Google has selected one company to make its “Nexus” devices. Most recently, that company was Samsung. Recently, Google began to sell the Galaxy Nexus directly through its Play Store and had a page of the store dedicated to devices plural. This, of course, begged the question as to what other devices were going to be sold there. Perhaps this new development answers that question.
According to the Journal’s source, this new plan would give Google “more control over the apps that run on smartphones and tablets powered by Android, thus reducing the influence of wireless carriers over such devices.” Gotta say, that sounds pretty good as I think carriers have way too much influence as it is.
It also sounds like they’re taking a page from Apple’s playbook here. Apple controls the device, the apps and the entire user experience and as a result, the iPhone works very well and is one of the most popular devices on the planet.
Google wants to get some of that business for itself and you can’t really blame them. They need to go where the money is and the money’s in mobile.