If the appearance of the Galaxy Nexus for sale through the Google Play store signaled the company’s renewed interest in direct smartphone sales, a new report out of the Wall Street Journal could hint at plans to change the entire Android landscape. According to the report, Google will open up its Nexus program to multiple OEM partners and offer up to five launch devices for Android 5.0, which will be on sale by Thanksgiving of this year if all goes according to plan. The move would aim to satisfy manufacturers wary of favoritism in light of Google’s Motorola buyout while providing a selection of carrier unlocked devices running the latest version of Android to customers in Europe, the United States, and Asia.
Rumor has it more details could be unveiled at the upcoming Google I/O conference. We will likely get our first tease of Jelly Bean, the next version of Android, at the show as well. It isn’t confirmed but we might expect both tablets and phones to be included among the stable of Android 5.0 devices. The move would be sure to cause a bit of tension with major mobile providers, but offering multiple devices with a unified build of Android could be a move in the right direction if Google plans to tackle the fragmentation problem head on.
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