Report: several Nexus smartphones to run Android "Jelly Bean"
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Google wants to work more closely with smartphone manufacturers for the next version of Android – believed to be code-named "Jelly Bean". The report says that up to five manufacturers will receive early access to the new mobile operating system in order to be able to launch phones carrying Google's Nexus branding. The phones could be available in shops as early as late November this year. Google also wants to reverse its recent policy of selling largely through phone network channels, and to once again focus on selling Nexus phones directly; the newspaper cites sources familiar with the matter.
With previous versions of Android, Google has worked with a single manufacturer to optimise the OS and create Nexus-branded Google smartphones. The Nexus One, the first Google Nexus smartphone, was produced by HTC, while the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus models were made by Samsung. Other manufacturers received access to the source code for new versions of Android only after these flagship phones were announced.
The move to work with several manufacturers before releasing a new OS version could help to stem the much criticised fragmentation of Android, which results in Android device owners having to wait many months for new versions of the operating system or, even, never receiving any updates at all. It could also help ease manufacturers' fears that Google's acquisition of US smartphone and tablet maker Motorola could result in the latter gaining privileged access to Android.
Google previously tried and failed to sell smartphones directly to consumers through an online store two years ago. The shop, selling the Nexus One, was quickly closed down, with Android boss Andy Rubin stating that it had "remained a niche channel for early adopters". However, in late April of this year, the company began selling the Galaxy Nexus (HSPA+) in the Google Play web store in the US.
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