Google has long left manufacturers to their own devices over the years when it comes to the Nexus line. HTC, Samsung, LG and Motorola have all had a substantial say in the design and manufacturing of the hardware. That could change very soon.
The Information reports Google is looking to seize total control over the Nexus line and have it be free from any outside influence. It wouldn’t be much unlike Apple in that they’ll have total say in everything about the phones, from design to software, design and development, and manufacturing and distribution. There probably won’t be any logos on the device other than the Nexus logo.
It’s likely Google will still look to established OEMs for help in the manufacturing department and source parts from people like Qualcomm and Samsung, but everything else about the smartphone-making process will be handled in-house. It sounds exactly like what Google did for the Chromebook Pixel and Pixel C devices.
But why are they doing this? To compete with Apple, apparently. This strategy ensures Google can put out a product compelling enough to compete with the iPhone. That’s an odd assertion considering Google has never longed to make money from the Nexus lineup, nor do they need to: Android is making enough money as it is. The Information suggests Google is feeling threatened by Apple as they continue to try and scrub iOS clean of the Mountain View company’s presence.
It would explain why Google took an aggressive approach to marketing with the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. The company ran ads on prime time television to try and drive sales, something we’d never seen them do before. They want the device in as many hands as possible.
We imagine Google has already started shifting their strategy. Both the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P included a fingerprint scanner in precisely the same spot and with the same design. Both featured front-facing speakers.
And it wasn’t by accident: Google made the call. They want to continue to make calls to ensure the devices in the Nexus line meet the standards they’ve set, even if that means prying every bit of control from the people they work with.