Taking a page from Apple’s playbook, Google has nothing to say publicly about its new smartphone. Google is planning to release a branded Android phone that looks to challenge Apple and its iPhone that is presently reeling with poor sales and a rumored “very average” iPhone 7 that isn’t expected to see jaws drop when it’s released in the fall (September?).
Android dominates but what will a Google phone offer?
Google has been accused of letting its Android operating system become to fragmented as smartphone manufacturers around the world bundle their own software on top of the operating system that more smartphones use than any other.
That dominance is about an 80% market share but is losing its identity as company’s add their own bells and whistles that make the OS almost unidentifiable from other phones running the same version of Android. Apple, of course, makes its own hardware in the iPhone line and Search engine giant has in the past but wants more and more to be a trusted brand like HTC and Samsung.
While Search engine giant offers Android “for free” to manufacturers, the company puts its products at the forefront and receives a health revenue stream from search, mail and other programs that Android runs. Google has used Asis, LG and Huawei among others to build its Nexus brand phones but, according to senior sources, want to make something outside of these strategic partnerships. Google has the cash, the staff and the know how and it presently wishes to show that to the world.
It’s expected that the new handset will be released this year and Google will certainly want to have it available ahead of the holiday shopping season that should be a record year given a recovering, if not strong, economy.
Like Apple, Google want more control
I, personally, would never buy an iPhone or iPad given Apple’s firm grip on what media and programs can be place on THEIR device, that I BOUGHT. While a brilliant product, that totalitarian strangle hold is off-putting. Google has largely played second-fiddle to Apple when it comes to high-end smartphones and this doesn’t leave the Alphabet property at all pleased.
“They are concerned that Android is fragmenting, that it needs to become a more controlled platform,” said Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight. “I think they’ll seek to control it more, more like Apple.”
Google’s hiring of Rick Osterloh, the former president of mobile phone giant Motorola, earlier this year was nothing short of shot over the bow of Apple and its iPhone. Few think that the hire was anything less than a strong signal that Google was looking to strengthen its hardware line and “investing more effort” in branding phones under the name that everyone knows according to CEO Sundar Pichai. This is not to say that the Nexus line of phones is going anywhere with HTC onboard for the next offering.
“Our plan is still to work with [other manufacturers],” he said.
Search engine giant’s desire to create its own hardware may very well be a reaction to the European Union’s accusations of anti-trust and monopolistic pursuits with Android where Google essentially forces company’s using Android to push both the Chrome browser and the Google Play store not unlike Microsoft did with Internet Explorer and Windows. When Google makes handsets, no one can accuse them of pushing those products as they can essentially do whatever they want and not face those accusations.