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Google to split Android 5.0 love among manufacturers, cut out networks?

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Google is reportedly planning on giving up to five mobile makers early access to Android 5.0 (otherwise known as Jelly Bean) rather than focusing on just one flagship Nexus device.

This new plan, which the Wall Street Journal has on good authority from people familiar with the matter, will see a portfolio of Nexus devices launch at once, including both smartphones and tablets.

At the moment, Google uses just one manufacturer (most recently Samsung) to create a flagship Nexus device with the new version of Android on board (currently Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich).

Googley eyes

The problem is that it then takes other manufacturers a good few months to bring out similar hardware that makes the most of the software.

This change in strategy could see each iteration of Android have a bigger impact than the current method which trickles updates out as and when.

Google's other problem is that Android manufacturers are wary of its plans for Motorola, so giving them all early access to the software at once could calm their fears.

The search giant is also apparently planning on selling the handsets directly rather than relying on networks – so you'll only be able to buy an unlocked, SIM-free handset from Google and possibly some retailers in Europe, Asia and the US.

It's a plan that makes a fair amount of sense. But we think sticking with the Nexus name across all devices is less likely given that it's more of a stand-alone product name than a brand.

But hey, anything's possible – and we won't know for sure until Google breaks its silence, possibly at this year's Google I/O in June.


From the Wall Street Journal

News Editor (UK)

It's a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she's constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. And having been immersed in the world of tech and tech rumours for more than six years, she can spot a photoshopped iPhone 8 image from 20 paces.