Google wants its Nexus phones to be more like the iPhone

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The official Google phone is coming.
The official Google phone is coming.
Photo: Google
Google could make its own iPhone rivals. Photo: Google
Google could make its own iPhone rivals. Photo: Google

Google’s flagship Nexus 6P delivered significant design improvements last year, putting its hardware on par with the best devices from rival manufacturers. But Google wants the Nexus lineup to be even more like the iPhone.

To make that happen, the company will reduce its reliance on third-party manufacturing partners like Huawei and LG and assume greater control over Nexus hardware, according to one report.

“Google CEO Sundar Pichai and his lieutenants have signaled to colleagues and outsiders that the company wants to take greater control over its program for making “Nexus” smartphones,” claims The Information, which has been very reliable with its reports about Google in the past.

“The change would effectively reduce the level of involvement of hardware partners that make the phones with Google, a group which has included Samsung, Motorola, LG and Huawei.”

Google has never manufactured its own smartphone, but devices like the Pixel C tablet and the Chromebook Pixel have proven the company can design and build terrific hardware without the help of partners that take a cut of the profits.

This approach not only puts more money into Google’s pockets, but it also means it has full control over both hardware and software — just like Apple — and could optimize Android to run even better on hardware it has put together.

Another report from The Information last November, citing “people who work at Google,” claimed the company was already in talks with chip makers with a view to designing its own chipsets, which it could then marry with Android for an optimal experience.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Google is planning to manufacture its own smartphones, but we’re yet to see any evidence of it. It’s likely to be a while before we see a Google-made Nexus, then.