Would the advent of a 100% designed and produced Google smartphone really shake the foundation of the mobile industry? Probably not. On the other hand, it just might be the next most important single phone brand next to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy range.
According to an exclusive report by UK’s Telegraph citing inside sources close to the issue at Google, a complete Google branded phone might be in the works and could be released before the year runs out.
Already, Google is in discussion with mobile operators in the US and other western markets about the phone. I guess Google would be trying to put forward a sweet heart deal for these mobile carriers to help in peddling the phone for Google if this news is true.
This news might sound a bit confusing to people who know that Nexus smartphones are Google’s products. Would this new initiative be carried out side by side with the Nexus? Or would Google shelf the production of the Nexus?
Nexus is not actually made by Google. The phone itself is made by Chinese OEMs such as LG and Huawei. In that respect, that makes the Nexus just a Google brand. Though the cool thing about Nexus, which users all around the world value, is the fact that Nexus devices always get the latest software updates first. As a matter of fact, any new Android OS debuts on Nexus before making an appearance in other Android brands.
Branching into the phone hardware business might be the logical thing for Google. Though the Android Os is used in about 80% of mobile devices, it is still far behind iPhone in terms of high-end phones. Samsung with its Galaxy range is the one company carrying the Android torch very high in a two horse race with Apple.
Google joining the race would give them more control over the Android software. As an open source program, the Android OS is almost unrecognizable as different manufacturers try to adapt the OS to their specific needs. Meaning that most features are altered or out rightly removed.
This had made it almost impossible to impose uniform standards in the operating system. The result is all the security breaches, and malwares that are rather common to Android devices. This is hardly a concerned to iOS devices.
And perhaps Google is trying to secure the future of some of its prime products in Android. For instance, many Android manufacturers have started replacing important features with customized ones.
The most affected is the Chrome browser for Android. Big OEMs now prefer to install their own browsers in the operating system. A strong Google phone would therefore see to it that core services such as Chrome, Google search and Play Store are secured against competing services.
The appointment of Rick Osterloh begins to make a lot more sense. He was made the head of a new hardware division a couple of months ago.
As an accomplished technocrat, who was once the president of Motorola, Osterloh knows what it takes to make phones and sell them of course.
For us here in Nigeria and other third world countries, A Google phone would be just another high-end phone most people can’t afford. Most of us can’t even afford Nexus phones.
A Google phone competing against the iPhone would definitely price most of us away from it. No question about that. That is why I am not really excited about this rumour.
What I am excited about though is the modular smartphone. Google should hurry up and release the Ara. It is going to be cheap. And despite its limitations, it is going to be a real game changer even for people in developing countries like Nigeria.
image credit: thehackednews.com; forbes.com; arstecnica.com; time.com