May 15, 2012 | by Natesh Sood
The Wall Street Journal reported an interesting story today — one that has serious ramifications for the mobile industry if it pans out. Essentially, Google is said to be in discussions with five different partner OEMs to manufacture the next Nexus smartphone and tablet, which represents a pure Google device to launch the latest software launch. Each OEM would create its own Nexus device with different hardware configurations, but the same deep software integration and pure Google experience.
The latest and greatest Nexus devices are expected to be available by Thanksgiving 2012 and will launch running Jelly Bean, the version expected to follow Ice Cream Sandwich.
There are a couple of reasons why Google is reportedly pursuing this line of action, but whether Google can actually pull this off remains to be seen. Wireless carriers have such a strong influence over the launch of smartphones to the point where consumers in Asian and European countries sometimes receive devices months before Americans. By Google exclusively selling these different OEM Nexus devices through the Google Play Store, American consumers will have to pay the full retail price, but can choose a GSM carrier of its choosing and simply sign a contract that isn’t tied to a smartphone. Many consumers buy a smartphone overseas for full retail price and then buy service from a carrier.
Secondly, Google wants to take more control over the apps and features it can integrate on the Jelly Bean devices. For example, Verizon blocked Google Wallet on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus simply because Verizon is involved with Isis, a competitor to Google Wallet. The consumer shouldn’t be subjected to the whims and desires of the carriers.
On a more political level, by partnering with five OEMs, Google reaffirms its neutral stance when working with an OEM on the next Nexus. Ever since it purchased Motorola, many believed Google would favor the manufacturing company in order to help it succeed.
Overall, by Google taking a more proactive approach in selling pure Google smartphones directly to the consumer, it can ensure the experience is safe from carrier tampering and slow OS upgrades.
Lastly, the WSJ report mentions that there are manufacturing companies reportedly working to produce the next tablet to help boost Android and take away from the Apple iPad. Asus and Google are said to be working together, but that has yet to materialize into anything substantial.
The buzz surrounding Google’s potential move of producing multiple Nexus devices has generally been positive. Of course, we would like to hear from our readers about the issue and whether you agree with Google’s potential course of action.