Google has killed its Nexus smartphone range and has gone for its first ever “Made by Google” Pixel smartphones. Unlike the Nexus range, the Pixel and Pixel XL have been designed and engineered in-house to get the most optimized hardware and software experience on Android. Google wanted to create a flagship Android smartphone that could compete with the iPhone and it pretty much managed to do it, but for one feature. Also Read - UEFA Euro 2020: Colourful Google Doodle kicks off European Football ChampionshipAlso Read - Android 12 beta 2 rolling out: New privacy features, tweaked design and more
Yes, the Pixel smartphones have top-of-the-line hardware but unlike the Apple iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7, they are not exactly water proof. This seems to be one of the only weak links in Google’s first-ever smartphones and it is difficult to understand why Google would omit it. Until now. Also Read - Sundar Pichai: 5 interesting facts about Google CEO you never heard before
In a podcast, David Pierce, a senior staff writer at Wired, talked about what the Pixel’s development may really have been like. Pierce revealed that he was told that the Pixel phones had mere nine months of development time and that could be the reason why they don’t have water resistance. “Their answer was essentially ‘we ran out of time’. There apparently had been this plan for a long time, and at the end of 2015, they blew it all up and started over. So they essentially went from nothing to launch in nine months and a week.”
Peirce s claims about the nine month time period for the development of the Pixel smartphones, falls in place if we look back at the timeline of the Google phones before they were launched. The part where he talks about the plans blowing up at the end of 2015 makes sense when we look at the report by Android Police, which claims that Google’s 2016 smartphone lineup was originally supposed to be built by Huawei. ALSO READ: Ok Google, your Pixel smartphones are impressive
After the Nexus 5X and 6P launched, and Google began talks with Huawei to produce its 2016 smartphone portfolio – allegedly up to three phones, not just the two we ended up with. It’s unclear if they would have been branded Pixel, Nexus, or both (e.g., two Pixels and a cheaper Nexus). Google, though, set a hard rule for the partnership: Huawei would be relegated to a manufacturing role, producing phones with Google branding. The Huawei logo and name would be featured nowhere on the devices’ exteriors or in their marketing, much like the Pixel phones built by HTC that we’ll see unveiled tomorrow. According to our source, word spread inside Huawei quickly that global CEO Richard Yu himself ended negotiations with Google right then and there. Huawei was off the table for the new smartphones. Google’s “plan B” – HTC – ended up winning the contract. ALSO READ: Google Pixel, Pixel XL to go on sale in India from October 25: Price, specifications, features
Consequently, the failed negotiation with Huawei ended up eating up a lot of time off the development of Google Pixel phones. And if you juxtapose the two events, this is plausibly the period when Google blew up everything and opted for HTC. In February 2016, eight months before the Pixel smartphones were officially launched, Google decided to take full control over the smartphone. According to a report by The Information, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and his lieutenants have signaled to colleagues and outsiders that the company wants to take greater control over its program for making Nexus smartphones, which are powered by Google s Android software. The change would effectively reduce the level of involvement of hardware partners that make the phones with Google, a group which has included Samsung, Motorola, LG and Huawei.
Essentially, post the chaos of making and breaking partnership for the Pixel phone, Google was left with just nine months to build its first-ever smartphone right from scratch. It s a surprising revelation, because nine months is an incredibly short duration of time to bring a smartphone to the market.