Google might delaying its rumoured Android Silver program, a re-branding effort that would give high-end Android smartphones a more unified, premium brand similar to Apple’s, according to Amir Efrati at The Information.
There are a few primary reasons Google could be putting its Android Silver project on hold. As Efrati reports, the July departure of Google’s chief architect Nikesh Arora likely played a role in delaying the program. Arora oversaw Google’s partnerships with device manufacturers and wireless carriers, a role that would be crucial to get a program like Android Silver up and running.
Another possible reason could be that the reactions from Google’s partners and people within the company have been mixed so far, according to Efrati. Phone manufacturers, carriers, and retailers would need to pay concessions to Google in order to fund the marketing necessary to fuel Android Silver sales. However, Efrati writes that there “were serious doubts in various parts of Google as to whether the program would work.”
While Android Silver remains in limbo, Efrati says Google is focusing more of its efforts toward Android One: a program that helps phone manufacturers create cheap high quality handsets for emerging markets. Android One just saw its official launch in India on Monday.
News sources such as The Information and Android Police have been reporting on Android Silver for months, but we have yet to hear any official word from Google. According to these reports, Android Silver would be a new means of selling high-end Android devices. Google would set up special kiosks in brick-and-mortar carrier stores and offer around-the-clock customer service for those who buy phones under the Silver umbrella.
The devices would come with a stock version of Android, but the hardware would be built by Google’s handset partners. Based on these reports, it sounds like it could be part of an effort for Google to reclaim the Android platform from Samsung, its longtime partner and now one of its biggest rivals in the smartphone space.
Some have speculated that Android Silver would mean the end of Google’s Nexus line, but the company told ReadWrite in June that this isn’t the case.