Google has plans to release their own smartphone handset in a bid to make a move in the smartphone market. The move would see them tighten an already tighter grip on mobile software and the market, and it would also put them in direct competition with popular smartphone maker, Apple.
The search giant is currently in discussions with various mobile operators discussing how they would release a Google branded phone. The move would also see them extend their arm in the hardware market, sources close to the matter and discussions said. At the moment, Google has the Android operating system, the most widely used operating system on smartphones.
The company also endorses some phones that are made by their partners including LG and Huawei under their own brand, Google Nexus. However, their direct competitor in the operating system department has a thriving hardware section, deemed to be the best in the world. Google leaves the process of hardware making to other firms such as Samsung and HTC as it prefers to concentrate on the making of free software.
Apple dominates the high-end market of smartphones, regardless of the fact that Android is the predominant software used on most phones. Most of the Android device makers use the software as they wish, which means Google has failed to ensure consistency in some instances as various Android users have to wait for months to receive updates.
Some makers also put their own functions and services on top of Androids. However, if they choose to make their own phone, they could control what they do with the software, and also any other services such as the Google Play app store.
Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, said that Google was concerned about the potential of Android fragmenting. They want it to be a more controlled platform, he said. They will want to have control over it, more like what Apple has with the iOS system.
Google is a massive player in the Internet software market, if not the best, but they have been trying to make inroads in the hardware division over the years. They have released their own tablet computer, laptops, and various other gadgets. The company recently hired Rick Osterloh to lead a new hardware division for them. Osterloh is the former president of Motorola, and his recruitment was seen as a sign of Google’s ambitions.
Sundar Pichai, the CEO of the company, said last month that the company was going to invest more in phones. He said the company would however still continue to back the Google Nexus phones, and new handsets made by the Taiwanese manufacturer, HTC, are expected to be doled out later this year. He said at the time; he expected to continue still working with other manufacturers.