Word has it from sure sources that Google is having internal discussions on building its own smartphone. Though much of the details are scanty, it is said that Hiroshi Lochheimer, the recently promoted leader of Android, is part of these talks. From analysis of the situation around Google, strong indicators show that this is more than just heresy.
Why would Google be planning to make its own phone? The best answer to this would probably be to tighten the bolts on an otherwise loosening ecosystem that is getting to be characterized by lack of order. This is in relation to the big problems that are currently affecting Android such as security vulnerabilities, poor support for updates and fragmentation.
One would still ask why Google is struggling yet it already has a tight grip over the Nexus devices and how will a true make of a device from Google help in widening these goals? Well, a Google phone can be an example to showcase and promote the improved standard components that Google has been said to be working on.
More information says that Google is working to improve capabilities of Cameras in capturing environmental information in the phone, which Google can then use to come up with new features of value that will add processors surplus memory to improve performance and thus improve sensor hubs that have the ability to survey the world throughout without using a lot of power as well as adding new sensors.
Google has two options. One would be to work together with chipmakers such as MediaTek or Qualcomm in order to add these features to their roadmaps and then hope that they’ll be picked up by Android OEMs. Option number two would be to create a smartphone that would be a force to reckon with that would showcase the advanced features from Google then sell it to consumers directly. The latter option would definitely be a challenge enough for Android OEMs to step up their game and adopt the standardized hardware from Google.
The Pixel C and Chromebook Pixel Android tablets have set the pace for this where Google used the latter to lead the way into the uptake of USB Type C. The Pixel C seems to have been designed with the idea of a more PC-friendly model of Android in mind.
The problem that seems to be looming here is that we’re lost for ideas when it comes to what features Android can give based on software exclusively. Specialized hardware is required for more advanced features such as machine vision and improved voice control. Google, therefore, needs to see to it that its wish-list is taken in by OEMs and chipmakers so that these sophisticated features will be supported by most new devices. The big risk here is that should Google fail, the Android ecosystem will be split apart.
Taking the above to serious consideration, Google should indeed take the initiative and make its own phone since the current ecosystem for Android is at stake. Despite Samsung reaping successful benefits, it’s all due to the large volumes of sales it’s making. Edges can be felt rubbing at Qualcomm, Motorola, LG, Xiaomi, Sony and HTC. These companies cannot be part of Google’s interests nor those of the Android ecosystem. Therefore, Google just has to take that crucial step and make things easy for itself just like Apple has been doing.