Since 2010, Google has showcased the stock Android experience with its line of Nexus phones and tablets, the latest of which are the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P.
But those phones aren’t actually manufactured by Google. The company has employed an ever-changing lineup of smartphone makers to build them — the 6P is thus manufactured by China’s Huawei, while the 5X has been made by LG.
Now, according to a report by The Telegraph, Google plans to completely take over the reins and build its own phone from scratch.
It is unclear whether the new device would be sold under the Nexus brand. While there are no details about its hardware specifications, the report, which cites sources familiar with the matter, says Google will take more control over the device’s design, manufacturing and software.
Given the scarce details, the ramifications of such a move are hard to predict. Google could be looking to position itself more as an Apple competitor, selling Google-branded phones which were designed in-house, top to bottom — but this could also alienate other smartphone manufacturers who build Android-based phones. Huawei CEO Yu Chengdong said last week that the company would support Android as long as the platform remains open. His remarks follow rumors that Huawei is working on its own mobile OS which could replace Android if need be.
Even if Google starts selling its own device, this probably doesn’t mean the end of the line for Nexus. In an interview last month Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company is investing “a lot more effort” into Nexus. Without going into too many details, he reiterated that the company plans to continue working with its hardware partners.