Google's hardware-focused keynote yesterday marked an important milestone in the company's history. With the announcement of Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, the tech giant clearly communicated that it's taking a completely new approach to smartphones. Rather than simply collaborating with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on research and development like it did with Nexus devices, Google is now adamant at having its very own product lineup. However, that isn't to say Google will stop supporting OEMs which are using its open source operating system on their devices but keeping companies like Samsung, Sony, and LG happy while simultaneously competing with them certainly won't be an easy feat. However, that's precisely what Google is planning to do, at least according to its Android division head Hiroshi Lockheimer.
Speaking to Bloomberg at the company's Mountain View headquarters, Lockheimer explained that Google didn't decide to make Pixel in order to simply compete with other manufacturers of flagship devices. In fact, the tech giant feels there's room for another player in the upper end of the Android ecosystem. Lockheimer asserted that a healthy offering of premium devices is important for any ecosystem and can only benefit both consumers and app developers. The Android head also revealed that Google has been contemplating the idea of a completely premium device for some time now and the decision was made in late 2015 when the executives decided not to follow through with another Nexus phone. He believes a device such as Pixel would not have been possible within the constraints of the Nexus program as the company wanted to do its own thing and deliver a phone that's not just the purest form of Android, but also the purest form of Google and all of its latest technologies.
Of course, that line of thinking naturally begs the question of whether Google is discontinuing the Nexus program. As things stand right now, the answer is basically a "yes" though Lockheimer was a bit more diplomatic in formulating it. Namely, the Android chief stated that he's still not ready to completely dismiss the idea of another Nexus device but there are currently no plans to continue the program. As for Android OEMs and their reactions to the announcement of Google Pixel and Pixel XL, Lockheimer revealed that they're not worried about competing with Google and understand the company's decision. The Android head compared the Pixel devices with the Nexus program and Google's purchase of Motorola, explaining that he's been answering these kinds of questions for years but that all of the Android OEMs are still Google's partners regardless of the tech giant's endeavors in the consumer electronics industry. As things stand right now, Lockheimer is convinced that all of the company's partnerships will continue for a long, long time.