Google appears to be preparing to launch smartphones into a limited number of markets around the world, including India, under its own branding rather than using “Nexus” branding. There are reputed to be two devices, both running Android 7.0 Nougat, but of a different specification. One will have a 5.0-inch display and the other will offer a 5.5-inch display. At this juncture, other than a leak that one device will be offered with 32 GB of internal storage and the other 128 GB, there are no other details of the specification of either model. It is also unclear what other markets will receive “Google” branded devices rather than “Nexus” branded hardware. These two handsets may well be rebranded HTC Nexus devices, which are alleged to be arriving in the near future.
It is possible that Google is experimenting with a Google-branded pair of devices for the India – where Android has cornered some 97% of the market, pushing out the competition. Perhaps given how significant Android is to the Indian smartphone market, Google is seeking to capitalize on its branding rather than pushing the Nexus line. Google is positioning the two new devices as high end or premium models, perhaps in an attempt to tackle Apple’s iPhone head on. For the Indian market, this would appear to be a one way bet given how little of the market Apple’s expensive, premium devices have captured. The Google-branded devices are also said to include a means of importing data from the iPhone although it is unclear the source of this rumor or how this particular technology might work.
Although a new premium Android device, branded “Google” or even “Nexus,” might seem designed to steal sales from the iPhone, it is more likely to be stealing shows from other high end Android manufacturers. Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer offering the Galaxy S7 range in addition to the Galaxy Note 7, which has yet to officially release. Any premium Google-branded device would be competing for a similar set of customers as the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 7 devices. We have already seen how Google has tried selling a device using its own branding in the shape of the Google Pixel C, so perhaps these two new devices will be sold under the Pixel name? It’s entirely possible that Google may be planning to release Nexus devices in some parts of the world and their own “Google-branded” devices in other parts.