Google has a vast range of different services and products now on the market, but they have still yet to really grasp the hardware markets. Mountain View still relies on Nexus devices to sell the stock Android experience on phone and tablet and the Chromebook Pixel seems like more of a experiment to get developers on the Chrome OS platform than an actual product people want to purchase.
However, in the coming months we are going to see Google get active in the hardware space, according to reports from WSJ and other new agencies. The company has currently developed the Nexus Q, the Chromebook Pixel and Google Glass in house and we believe they will continue this trend, instead of looking for help.
The Android platform has shot up in the past few years, arguably due to Samsung’s incredible brute force into the mobile market. Android phones are the biggest source of usage right now, with tablets still in murky ground against Windows 8 and iOS.
However, Google has recently changed the idea of what Android can do, at the start they wanted only phones and tablets, but we are starting to see cameras, notebooks, gaming consoles and smartwatches get fitted with the open source mobile OS.
This has very expansive opportunities and given some of the partners on the mobile Android platform work on other electronics like fridges, TVs and cars, we may see Google optimise Android for multiple environments, the same way Siri is optimised for the car and different user interfaces are added onto consumer electronics.
Google Incentive To Control
Google also has started to seep control on the Android platform, they want to create and distribute products on a wide scale. This will start with the gaming console and smartwatch, two of the most exciting projects we have heard. These will both be powered by Android and if you are looking for next of kin to relate check the Ouya gaming console and the Sony smartwatch.
For the gaming console, Google will add the Google Play store with all the games and make sure the next version of Android has incredible gaming optimisation tools. We have already seen the Android Games SDK released for developers, which includes leaderboards, cloud saves and tons of in-depth features for developers.
It is quite odd both projects routed from Kickstarter and now Google seem to be trying to develop multiple hardware products. The smartwatch will come with the stock Android experience and again we may see Google port all the Google Play store, with new optimisation tools to make apps look great.
Google is also said to be developing the new Nexus Q, the media streaming device that was in all words a failure for the company. Priced above the normal media streaming device, it came with limited functionality against competitors selling their device at $99. However, it was widely understood Google had brought this to market with some other ambition possibly just to gauge the reaction.
Where Does Motorola Fit In?
The report states Google will develop these products with the X Lab Hardware Division, leaving out the idea Motorola will be collaborating or becoming the Google hardware division. X Labs is known for the development of the self-driving car, Google Glass and Project Loon.
Will Motorola just continue as it is now or will we see Google move this to a mobile division, working in sync with Android and developing smartphones running the stock experience at multiple price points. We doubt Google want to take on Samsung in price and the Moto X phone will likely be $200 – 300 less than the Galaxy S4.