Google Reportedly Working on Own-Branded Phone Set for Release This Year

Google is set to launch its own smartphone by the end of the year in an effort to compete more directly with Apple and Samsung devices, according to The Telegraph.

Citing "senior sources" familiar with the matter, the report claims that the company plans to unveil a Google-branded handset that is separate from its Nexus range of phones, which are designed and manufactured through partnerships with the likes of LG and HTC. Google is also said to be in discussions with mobile operators about the release of the phone by the end of 2016.

nexus_6_lollipop

The Nexus 6 handset by Motorola, one of Google's manufacturing partners.

If true, the news would signal a significant shift in ambitions for the company's mobile arm, which has historically focused on software development with its Android OS and left handset design largely in the hands of hardware manufacturers.

By contrast, Google's own internal handset division will take full control over "design, manufacturing and software," the newspaper reported. No other details were offered by the sources, while Google declined to comment on the story.

Last month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company was "investing more effort" into phones, although this was interpreted to mean it wanted to work more closely with existing Nexus device makers. Similarly, in April, Recode reported that former president of Motorola Rick Osterloh was returning to Google to take over hardware development on the company's Nexus phones and its OEM partnerships, but no indication was given that an own-branded phone was in the works.

Google's Android OS is used on over 1.4 billion mobile devices globally, but differences in handsets have sometimes seen the company struggle to ensure rollout consistency between software updates.

A Google-branded phone would therefore make sense from a software point of view and allow the company to control the hardware running its OS and let it showcase its other mobile software services.

Such a move however isn't without risk. In April, the European Commission formally charged Google with monopoly abuse, accusing it of using the success of Android to unfairly push its search engine and Chrome browser on users. Not only that, much of the company's mobile service revenue is made through iOS devices, so Apple could potentially make life hard for Google if it felt threatened by its move into mobile hardware design.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
57 months ago

Like any smart business they smell blood in the water and are ready to take a bite out of Apple. Declining sales, yesterday's tech for tomorrow's prices and (easiest of all to pounce on) ridiculously high profit margins. Competition breeds innovation, perhaps this'll get Apple to stop phoning it in (pun intended) and get back to their core business.

Oh yeah!

When Google gets their name in a phone, and when they see what the reality is:

* People complaining it's too expensive
* People complaining that despite being cheaper, is not as good as more expensive phones
* People complaining about hardware issues
* People complaining about reception issues (dropped calls AND slow internet)
* People complaining about the store
* People complaining about battery life that's never good enough (iPhone 6S battery life is about double of iPhone 5S, people still complain, because the more it lasts, the more they use the stupid thing, and the less they want to charge it)
* People complaining about the performance of X part where the OEM cut corners
* People complaining because store that you go, doesn't sell it
* People complaining because they love to go to somewhere that has to listen to them and complain

And my favourite:


* People complaining because the phone X doesn't have one feature like the phone Y, ignoring the fact that phone Y also doesn't have features that phone X has.

Today, Google has built a good image because they make things that people don't depend on, and accept bugs


* like search, where you accept to scroll past the first results or redo your query
* like when gmail incorrectly labels your e-mail and sends real mail to spam
* like youtube, if it breaks, or stutters, it's "the internet" fault
* like youtube recommendations, when they show you things you don't like, or are not relevant to the video you're watching
* like when Google Maps sends you for a worse way, "it's GPS fault"


And also, are "good", but only because they are free:


* Does anybody pay for Google Docs? No, Microsoft Office!
* Does anybody pay for Google Voice? No, Skype!
* Does anybody pay for more Google Drive storage? No, iCloud!
* Does anybody pay for YouTube Red? No, Netflix!
* Does anybody pay for Google Play Music? No, Spotify!
* Does anybody pay for Google Maps? No, but I will gladly pay $$$ for GPS or Android Auto/CarPlay in my car!


But when the thing takes form in a device made by Google, with Google's brand, it's different... and the real problems appear

Android for example, has much less criticism than iOS because it lives in ether. It's not a real thing, when there's a fault, it's never Google's Android fault, it's always the OEM that has too much "bloat", "expensive", "bad after-sales service", or "not optimized", or "battery is too small, make thicker phones", or even "doesn't make updates".

When they have a real product, made by themselves, and not by third parties, everything changes radically!

People make unfair comparisons between the iPhone and "Android", and that "Android" is the best of all brands combined, but only the good parts.


* Android is better than iPhone because Samsung OLED's
* Android is better than iPhone because Xiaomi is ridiculous cheap
* Android is better than iPhone because LG has this amazing camera
* Android is better than iPhone because Sony is waterproof
* Android is better than iPhone because brand X has this good feature

But:


* Android is not bad because bloatware, it's only Samsung's fault
* Android is not bad because they copy Apple's designs, it's only Xiaomi's fault
* Android is not bad because they don't send upgrades to people, it's only LG's fault
* Android is not bad because you can only buy from shady online vendors, with questionable after sales support, it's only Sony's fault


This has to end. It's impossible to be the best at everything, the iPhone isn't the best at everything, but overall, is the best phone out there. But of course, can't fight ghosts.
[doublepost=1467028138][/doublepost]

Plus the changes apple made to notifications seriously reminds me of stock android. Can anyone say google cards?!

BS!

Google cards with live video?
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
Like any smart business they smell blood in the water and are ready to take a bite out of Apple. Declining sales, yesterday's tech for tomorrow's prices and (easiest of all to pounce on) ridiculously high profit margins. Competition breeds innovation, perhaps this'll get Apple to stop phoning it in (pun intended) and get back to their core business.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

Then why don't you have a Nexus?

Because he already has a iPhone, Timmy. It was pretty self-explanatory in his post. It sounds like nexus is his second choice after iPhone.

One of the great things about this world is you can actually like thing A and thing B, and prefer thing A without automatically having to hate thing B. Cell phones are a consumer product, not a holy war.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

Like any smart business they smell blood in the water and are ready to take a bite out of Apple. Declining sales, yesterday's tech for tomorrow's prices and (easiest of all to pounce on) ridiculously high profit margins. Competition breeds innovation, perhaps this'll get Apple to stop phoning it in (pun intended) and get back to their core business.

Yesterday's tech like the A9? But I guess this will help Android phones not be saddled with "yesteryear's operating system" ;)

What's Apple's "core business" that they've gotten away from? Aren't iPhones their core business?

I don't expect this to do much to Apple. If anything, Samsung should be worried if Google is able to actually convince the general public to buy them vs. what usually happens with the Nexus line.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
If I did not have an iPhone, it would be a nexus. It is a very similar experience IMO...clean and nearly no bloat.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
Here's your opportunity to switch to Chormebooks and Google phones and leave MR behind forever guys. I hope they enjoy negativity over on Google forums, because they're going to love you.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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