Remember when Google was trying to really disrupt the cell phone world with the release of the Nexus One? Well, look for it to make another major push, as the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google will have up to five Nexus smartphones and tablets later this year and it will be selling these directly through its website.
We’re expecting to see Google’s Android 5.0 to be shown off next month at the I/O conference and the usual routine has been Google giving one manufacturer early access to the software. HTC got it early with the Nexus One, Motorola got it with the Xoom and Samsung got it with the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus.
The report says that Google will be working with up to five manufacturers for stock Android 5.0 Jellybean devices and these will include smartphones and tablets. We’ve heard a lot about the rumored Nexus tablet and it should be a major part of Google’s push for consumers.
Google’s initial push into selling hardware directly to consumers fell flat for a few reasons: it was a bit too expensive, consumers weren’t very familiar with Android at that point and the carriers were not eager to help out. It recently jumped back into this game by offering an unlocked pentaband Galaxy Nexus for $399 directly from the Play Store. It’s only been on the market for a few weeks, so it’s unclear how well this has done.
There are still many concerns though, as Android tablets haven’t really gained much traction against the iPad and the most-successful Android tablet – the Kindle Fire – doesn’t even have any Google or Android branding. A Nexus tablet could change that but it’s going to have to be very, very good. Additionally, the unlocked smartphone market remains small in the United States and the lack of interoperability of the various 4G LTE networks will create more hurdles.
It looks like Google I/O is going to be massive show and you can be sure that we’ll be there live to get all the latest news.
[Via Wall Street Journal]