Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced on Wednesday that Android founder Andy Rubin is stepping down and the Android and Chrome platforms will be united under the leadership of Sundar Pichai. Today analysts at Sterne Agee say that union “makes sense” for Google in the long term.

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In a report issued to investors today, analyst Shaw Wu reiterated the firm’s Neutral rating on the stock in light of the announced union of the two platforms. They said that don’t think it makes sense for the company to maintain two separate operating systems over the long term. In addition, they said their “conversations with industry sources” have led them to believe that Rubin could be taking some kind of larger role in the search giant’s hardware efforts, thus “putting it in more direct competition” with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Wu said the feedback they have gotten from some customers and developers recently has been confusion about why Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) would continue to support two separate platforms. Sterne Agee analysts believe that by uniting the two platforms, the company’s long-term strategic plan will become clearer. In addition, they believe that it will help as Google moves toward mobile monetization.

As far as Rubin is concerned, they point out that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s hardware business has become decidedly more diverse through the years. The company now has Motorola, Nexus and Google Glass. They see Rubin as a possible leader for a united front of the company’s hardware efforts.

Sterne Agee analysts see shares of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) as “fairly valued.” The stock is trading mostly flat in Thursday morning trades.