Google to release its own smartphone this year

It's following Apple's path so it can have a hand in both software and hardware

google android nexus6
Credit: TechStage

Did Google hit its head, black out and wake up thinking it's Apple?

Probably not, but let's back up a minute. Everyone knows the Android user experience varies from device to device based on each smartphone makers tweaks and customizations. And for years, Google has relied on Nexus devices, also built by outside handset manufacturers, to give Android users a smartphone experience closest to what Android envisioned when it built its software. 

However, according to new reports, that wasn't good enough. Google will soon be building its own smartphone, not relying on other smartphone makers to deliver the goods. So what do we know about this new smartphone? And when will it make an appearance? In IT Blogwatch, we get the 411 without asking Google Now what's up.

James Titcomb spills the beans in Google to step up smartphone wars with release of own handset:

Google is planning a shake-up of the smartphone market by releasing its own handset, a move that would...see it compete directly with the iPhone. 
...
Google already develops the Android operating system that runs on four in five smartphones...and endorses a range of phones made by partners...under the Google Nexus brand. But unlike Apple, it leaves manufacturing to other companies...with the company concentrating on developing the free software that runs on its phones.

Not getting that strong Apple vibe yet? Ken Salcedo steps it up a notch in Google Smartphone To Be Released By The End Of 2016:

In the software front, the company has been successful in providing manufacturers with a reliable mobile operating system. With its...new handset, Google seems to be hoping to position itself as a contender in the hardware space as well.
...
The company apparently wants to go head-to-head with Apple's iPhone.
...
Apple has complete control over the iPhone and its mobile operating system...this seems to be the same control that Google wants over its device.

But there has to be more to the story, right? Edoardo Maggio plays detective in Report: Google is working on its own Android smartphone to go head to head with the iPhone:

According to an anonymous tip we received...from an IP address located near Google’s campus, the company is “annoyed” at the iPhones perception of being the only “premium” offering on the market.
...
Google has already made hardware devices under the Pixel brand...and this May’s I/O conference was the launch pad for Google’s foray into the home, with the namesake product looking forward to battling it with Amazon‘s Alexa.
...
There’s also the fact that...Rick Osterloh has joined the company to oversee...the new hardware business, which makes the argument all the more convincing, and we have heard that Google wants to design its own smartphone chips as well.

Great, so what else do we know? JC Torres breaks it down for us in Google’s first non-Nexus smartphone tipped for 2016:

Naturally, details about this Google smartphone are almost non-existent, other than a general "it exists."
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