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Google is set to launch its own smartphone by the end of the year in an effort to compete more directly with Apple and Samsung devices, according to The Telegraph.

Citing "senior sources" familiar with the matter, the report claims that the company plans to unveil a Google-branded handset that is separate from its Nexus range of phones, which are designed and manufactured through partnerships with the likes of LG and HTC. Google is also said to be in discussions with mobile operators about the release of the phone by the end of 2016.

nexus_6_lollipop-800x349.jpg
The Nexus 6 handset by Motorola, one of Google's manufacturing partners.

If true, the news would signal a significant shift in ambitions for the company's mobile arm, which has historically focused on software development with its Android OS and left handset design largely in the hands of hardware manufacturers.

By contrast, Google's own internal handset division will take full control over "design, manufacturing and software," the newspaper reported. No other details were offered by the sources, while Google declined to comment on the story.

Last month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company was "investing more effort" into phones, although this was interpreted to mean it wanted to work more closely with existing Nexus device makers. Similarly, in April, Recode reported that former president of Motorola Rick Osterloh was returning to Google to take over hardware development on the company's Nexus phones and its OEM partnerships, but no indication was given that an own-branded phone was in the works.

Google's Android OS is used on over 1.4 billion mobile devices globally, but differences in handsets have sometimes seen the company struggle to ensure rollout consistency between software updates.

A Google-branded phone would therefore make sense from a software point of view and allow the company to control the hardware running its OS and let it showcase its other mobile software services.

Such a move however isn't without risk. In April, the European Commission formally charged Google with monopoly abuse, accusing it of using the success of Android to unfairly push its search engine and Chrome browser on users. Not only that, much of the company's mobile service revenue is made through iOS devices, so Apple could potentially make life hard for Google if it felt threatened by its move into mobile hardware design.

Article Link: Google Reportedly Working on Own-Branded Phone Set for Release This Year
 
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Mr Fusion

macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2007
812
853
Like any smart business they smell blood in the water and are ready to take a bite out of Apple. Declining sales, yesterday's tech for tomorrow's prices and (easiest of all to pounce on) ridiculously high profit margins. Competition breeds innovation, perhaps this'll get Apple to stop phoning it in (pun intended) and get back to their core business.
 

MRU

macrumors demi-god
Aug 23, 2005
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Might explain the rumoured expectation of two nexus devices from HTC, whilst surprisingly Huawei's CEO still saying on twitter they are going to be making a nexus device with Google.

HTC or Huawei could be the partner for the actual Google branded device (I suspect Huawei with its already manufacturing system in place with Foxconn).
 
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blackcrayon

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2003
2,156
1,744
Like any smart business they smell blood in the water and are ready to take a bite out of Apple. Declining sales, yesterday's tech for tomorrow's prices and (easiest of all to pounce on) ridiculously high profit margins. Competition breeds innovation, perhaps this'll get Apple to stop phoning it in (pun intended) and get back to their core business.

Yesterday's tech like the A9? But I guess this will help Android phones not be saddled with "yesteryear's operating system" ;)

What's Apple's "core business" that they've gotten away from? Aren't iPhones their core business?

I don't expect this to do much to Apple. If anything, Samsung should be worried if Google is able to actually convince the general public to buy them vs. what usually happens with the Nexus line.
 

MRU

macrumors demi-god
Aug 23, 2005
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If I did not have an iPhone, it would be a nexus. It is a very similar experience IMO...clean and nearly no bloat.

Yep. As much arguing between iOS and Android users, when it comes to stock devices the amount of convergence and similarities is far greater than the differences. It's like two companies are approaching the same end destination albeit from completely different starting points.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
14,070
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Yep. As much arguing between iOS and Android users, when it comes to stock devices the amount of convergence and similarities is far greater than the differences. It's like two companies are approaching the same end destination albeit from completely different starting points.

Plus the changes apple made to notifications seriously reminds me of stock android. Can anyone say google cards?!
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,395
I don't know if Google has anything cool to offer but I'll say this, if they do: given the likelihood the iPhone 7 is going to be more like the iPhone 6S, rev2, Google's timing is right for the pouncing, much like how the original Sony Playstation mugged the Nintendo 64 (really ended Nintendo's reign as the TV console champ) or how XBOX 360 did the same to PS3 when Sony arrogantly initially overpriced it by including an unwanted, and mediocre, Blu-Ray player. (PS3 was a great console IMHO, but I'm not a gamer. It was just too expensive at launch and lost a lot of marketshare there which it could never recover).
 
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MRU

macrumors demi-god
Aug 23, 2005
25,347
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a better place
I don't expect this to do much to Apple. If anything, Samsung should be worried if Google is able to actually convince the general public to buy them vs. what usually happens with the Nexus line.

It's not that they need to convince the general public to buy them, it is more a case that they need to make them more accessible to the public to buy them in the first place.

They really need to get Google device into carrier stores and retail units and make it affordable attractive (the cost of iPhone ever increasing even on subsidy, and the likes of Samsung's flagships following similar pricy paths). Once it's accessible to purchase, at that point they then need to market it better, but there is no point marketing a device that is difficult to get a hold of or see in person before they commit to buy. Carriers & retail stores will be the driving factor alongside rewards / incentives for carriers to push it ...
 

djcerla

macrumors demi-god
Apr 23, 2015
2,122
10,217
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Like any smart business they smell blood in the water and are ready to take a bite out of Apple. Declining sales, yesterday's tech for tomorrow's prices and (easiest of all to pounce on) ridiculously high profit margins. Competition breeds innovation, perhaps this'll get Apple to stop phoning it in (pun intended) and get back to their core business.

The only problem in your reasoning is that they would probably take a bite out, but not from Apple, from their own OEMs.

Profit margins are high because the whole package is first class; for example, good luck with Google support, while Apple's is the best in town, by far and away. Then add a stunning third party hardware and software support, and deep integration with other Apple devices, instead of a mess of OS pieces from different manufacturesrs with conflicting interests and agendas.

That's why you resell an used Apple device to a consistent premium vs an Android one.
 

GrumpyMom

macrumors G4
Sep 11, 2014
10,280
15,219
Like any smart business they smell blood in the water and are ready to take a bite out of Apple. Declining sales, yesterday's tech for tomorrow's prices and (easiest of all to pounce on) ridiculously high profit margins. Competition breeds innovation, perhaps this'll get Apple to stop phoning it in (pun intended) and get back to their core business.
I was just thinking that exact phrase "they smell blood in the water" and for the reasons you gave. iPhone does have security and the offering of privacy going for it. But the wolves are at the door. Huawei has a former Apple employee overseeing the design of a customized OS. Apple needs to step up its game everywhere it's still got game.
 
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MRU

macrumors demi-god
Aug 23, 2005
25,347
8,906
a better place
The only problem in your reasoning is that they would probably take a bite out, but not from Apple, but from their own OEMs.

Profit margins are high because the whole package is first class; for example, good luck with Google support, while Apple's is the best in town, by far and away.

Have you ever used Google customer support ?

Google customer support is very good. They offer easier returns than Apple outside of the USA, and like apple have no issue replacing devices if there is a problem. Google are doing very well at this at the moment.

Likewise Google customer support often go out of their way to help you if they can, I had an issue with Google Play Music which allows 4 device 'de-authrorisations' per year. I go through a lot more phones than that and I had to contact Google a couple of times to sort this, which they did. But instead of just being re-active, they then contacted me themselves (after I explained why I had to have this corrected previous), and they proactively worked with me and my account lifting the de-authorisation limit from my account so that I never have the problem again. That's by anyones standard is fantastic customer support.
 

djcerla

macrumors demi-god
Apr 23, 2015
2,122
10,217
Italy
Have you ever used Google customer support ?

Google customer support is very good. They offer easier returns than Apple outside of the USA, and like apple have no issue replacing devices if there is a problem. Google are doing very well at this at the moment.

Likewise Google customer support often go out of their way to help you if they can, I had an issue with Google Play Music which allows 4 device 'de-authrorisations' per year. I go through a lot more phones than that and I had to contact Google a couple of times to sort this, which they did. But instead of just being re-active, they then contacted me themselves (after I explained why I had to have this corrected previous), and they proactively worked with me and my account lifting the de-authorisation limit from my account so that I never have the problem again. That's by anyones standard is fantastic customer support.

I've only had terrible experiences contacting Google. It's a nightmare.
 
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