Wall street journal is reporting that Google is ready to expand its mobile device partnership with device manufacturers. “Google Inc. plans to give multiple mobile-device makers—rather than just one partner—early access to new releases of its Android mobile operating system and to sell those devices directly to consumers, said people familiar with the matter.” – WSJ. Google will likely partner with the five major manufacturers including HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony, and Motorola (part of Google).
The Nexus is a series of Android smartphones produced by Google in co-operation with selected hardware companies. The purpose of the Nexus phones is to offer a “pure Android” experience with the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) mobile operating system. In the past, Google has released only one Nexus device every year with one unique partner. So far only HTC (G1, Nexus One) and Samsung (Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus) have had the opportunity to manufacture the Nexus devices.
According to the WSJ, Google is ready to partner with five device OEMs for early access to the future versions of Android OS in order to sell the devices directly to the consumers. This move seems to convey many different messages from Google. Firstly, it assures the manufacturers that the acquisition of Motorola by Google won’t have any impact on other partners. Secondly, Google is going back to selling directly to consumers with the hopes of diversity of hardware will sell more devices. Google initially started using this model with the Nexus One but Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus devices were sold through retailers and carriers. Thirdly, Google might be forcing the hardware manufacturers to differentiate on hardware design as the software will be pure Android (without custom skins from the manufacturer). Lastly, Google seems to be attempting at taking control away from the carriers when it comes to the interference with the Android OS (to prevent bloatware being pre-loaded on the devices).
Google is reportedly planning on selling Nexus tablets as well with this program. Android Tablet sales have been very low so this program might help with the tablet market share. This is a great news for people who prefer stock Android over the custom skins produced by the manufacturers. This program will also allow other users to experience the pure Android on their phones. In my opinion, Android market share will only increase with the introduction of more than one Nexus device every year.