The Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon that Google may give multiple (5 to be exact) smartphone and tablet manufacturers early access to the latest builds of Android for lead devices, and then sell those directly to consumers through the Play Store. The plan, according to this report, is to have these 5 devices ready by the time Jelly Bean is launched around Thanksgiving. As you all know, in the past, Google has hand-selected one partner to release new versions of Android each year, a program better know as the “Nexus” program. This would be a drastic change from that, but I’m having trouble trying to find a reason why it doesn’t sound like the most amazing change ever.
In recent weeks, Google began to sell the Galaxy Nexus directly to consumers through the Play Store, a move they had not done since the original Nexus One. Along with this move came a dedicated “Devices” page in the store which most of us assumed would mean more devices in the future, possibly tablets.
The sources that spoke to the WSJ mentioned that this would give Google “more control over the apps that run on smartphones and tablets powered by Android, thus reducing the influence of wireless carriers over such devices.” Nice timing, right? I just got done voicing my frustrations over a similar matter, where carriers are slowing the update process, something that should also be fixed with more “lead” or “Nexus” type devices around.
So in theory, we could see stock Android devices built by Samsung, Motorola, Asus, HTC, and more, all running the newest version of the OS, and available at the same time on the Google Play Store – sold to you directly without a contract.
Tell me your thoughts…
Update: I’ve added some of my own thoughts at this post.