Google may be plotting a new “Android Silver” program to vastly increase it line of devices beyond one Nexus handset.
We originally heard rumors that Google was planning to launch as a support service for select smartphones. However, a new report from the Information suggests the program may spur a whole new series of high-end Silver phones from multiple manufacturers
Allegedly Google is looking to invest $1 billion to get phone makers to jump aboard its new initiative. This money will supposedly go to subsidize the development and marketing costs for hardware partners that sign on with Google’s program.
The silver age
In exchange for the incentives, Google will have more control over Silver devices by limiting the amount of manufacturer bloatware that comes pre-installed. At the very least end users would be able to remove these non-standard Android apps.
With these software changes its likely Silver devices will also get Android updates sooner similar to Nexus and Google Play devices.
Beyond Google putting the kibosh extra software packages, Google reportedly will support the development of advanced hardware features. The Information claims these could include waterproofing and improved voice recognition as seen with the Moto X.
The report does not mention any hardware manufacturer have already signed Google’s new initiative.
However the first likely OEM to join will be LG, which produced the current Nexus 5, and Motorola. Meanwhile, we imagine others including HTC, Samsung, and Sony will sit out for now since they have all invested so much into developing their own look for Android.
Beyond the Nexus
If the Silver program comes to pass, Google would put a lot more backing into developing its own personal line of devices. Rather than partnering with a single manufacturer to develop one smartphone and tablet a year, the Silver program would allow Google to produce a wider array of devices.
That said, its not likely that we will see this supposed program bear fruit any time soon. Google I/O is just two months away where we expect to see a new Nexus phone and possibly a tablet.
Whether this yet to be announced smartphone is Google’s last Nexus device remains to be seen, but as of late Google has been reassert itself as the name behind Android phones. For this year’s crop of flagship phones Google has required both the HTC One (M8) and Samsung Galaxy S5’s bootup screens to feature the words “Powered by Android.”
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