Google has a plan to regain control of Android from Samsung, while at the same time, establishing Android as top-tier, premium smartphone platform comparable to the iPhone.
Amir Efrati at The Information reports Google is planning a program called “Android Silver.” Google would kill the Nexus brand, and replace it with “Silver.”
However, instead of creating its own smartphones and selling them online through the Google Play store like it did with the Nexus brand, Google would partner with other prominent Android handset manufacturers and carriers.
“Google will help underwrite the Silver phones, though the payments to partners wouldn’t be direct,” say Efrati. “The company has recently discussed pouring hundreds of millions of dollars — possibly as much as $US1 billion — into promoting Silver devices through ad campaigns and special kiosks in wireless stores staffed by Google-trained employees.”
The Information reports that Motorola and LG may be “prime candidates” for the program, while Samsung, HTC and Sony aren’t likely to partake in Android Silver. Google is looking to partner with Sprint and T-Mobile to sell Android Silver devices in the US, The Information reports.
What would set Silver apart from normal Android is that Google would limit the number of third party apps and services included on the device, hinting that these phones will run the pure version of Android. Most popular Android smartphone makers, such as Samsung and HTC, put their own skin that focuses on their proprietary apps over Android.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Android Silver. Earlier this month Android Police obtained what claim to be internal Google documents that detailed the program.
Efrati says, “Google’s main goals are to reverse consumer perceptions of Android as a down-market knock-off of the iPhone and establish a more consistent ‘Google’ experience for high-end Android customers.”
Further, he says Google is worried that Samsung is taking over Android, pushing it in directions Google doesn’t want to go. Silver would be part of a plant to reclaim the platform.