Google's Nexus phones are currently built in partnership with hardware manufacturers, such as Huawei and LG, who have development teams on site at Google. But taking a leaf out of Apple's book with the iPhone, Google is reportedly looking to take a more hands-on approach to the production of the Nexus.
According to The Information Google CEO Sundar Pichai wants to "vertically integrate" Google's phone operations, with Google's relationship with manufacturers being contractors rather than partners. Branding may change to refect this, also -- retaining the Google brand but no others.
So what is behind the move? Google generates the majority of its revenue via Apple devices, and reportedly is concerned about the potential loss of income via functionality Apple is progressively introducing -- such as ad blockers.
Google also shell out a fair chunk of money -- $1 billion last year alone -- to have its search engine pre-installed on iPhones, with Apple also getting a percentage of revenue when a Google ad is viewed on its devices.
The shift to focusing on cornering the smartphone market is therefore unsurprising, and it will be interesting to see what effect will total control over the development of hardware have.