What if Google made its own smartphone?
Google is simply a giant in software. As the maker of the world’s most popular mobile platform and the most-used search engine, there are few companies that could claim to be true competition to Google in these areas. According to recent rumors, Google may be looking to expand its reach into the smartphone business. Unlike the Nexus line of devices, these rumored devices would give Google full say over the hardware, software, and overall design.
This would likely put Google at odds with Apple’s iPhone, which provides Apple with the greatest portion of its revenue. Even more interesting, however, is that a Google smartphone might put Google in a position against one of its most important Android device manufacturers: Samsung. One of the riskiest parts of such a new product offering would be the dividing wedge it would place between Google and Samsung. Samsung needs Google, and Google needs Samsung. Both of their products are better together.
The prospects of a Google phone are appealing to many Google customers, as the device would have deep integration of hardware and software. Considering Google’s technologies, such as Daydream and Tango, as well as its probable continuation of the Nexus line (which already contains some value-focused devices), it makes sense for the rumored device to be high-end. To be competitive to other Android handsets, Google phones would likely offer exclusive features in both hardware and software areas. This feature exclusivity could hurt Google’s relationship with Samsung further. Some years ago, when Samsung was first breaking into the high-end smartphone market with devices like the Galaxy S and Galaxy S2, Samsung may have failed if it weren’t for the fairly popular and widely-supported Android platform. Similarly, it is unlikely that the Android OS would have become what it is today if it weren’t for the influx of innovative, unique, Android-powered Samsung devices.
All things considered, we think a Google phone would be an impressive and competitive device. But Google needs to be careful about keeping strong ties with Samsung in the process. What do you think? Would you buy a high-end Google smartphone?