Google is currently considering whether to build its own in-house smartphone, according to a report in The Information.
Unnamed executives have apparently been party to these discussions, and they reportedly include Hiroshi Lockheimer — Google’s senior vice president of Android.
Google releases a flagship “Nexus” smartphone every year, but it doesn’t build these itself. It works in concert with an hardware partner like Huawei or Samsung, and after designing the device in-house, the partners takes care of the manufacturing.
The Nexus devices never see huge sales, but are typically well-received by critics, and serve as a kind of showcase to handset manufacturers of what Android is capable of. Building a device themselves would serve the same function, and help Google compete against Apple’s iPhone.
The Information report makes clear that, at this point, these are just discussions. Nothing has been committed, and it shows how Google is figuring out where to take its smartphone ambitions next.
Earlier this month, The Information also reported that Google is also considering designing its own chips for mobile devices. If the plans come to fruition, they could provide a uniformity to the platform that could help avoid the fragmentation that Android is notorious for.
It is also recruiting chip architects, we reported in October — more evidence that Google is considering a push into hardware.
We’ve reached out to Google for comment, and will update this story when it responds.
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