We need to understand just how big launching the Pixel smartphone is for Google. This is the first smartphone that the company has actually produced from its own hardware division, with the manufacturing covered by HTC. But this is a Google brand now and it has the company managing inventory, sourcing out components, managing distribution – things that they’ve never done with the Nexus program. What will this mean for Google in the long term? There’s no way to tell that yet, but they might be planning to go deeper into hardware – maybe even producing their own processors.
Dave Burke, VP for Android Engineering is happy with how the majority of the creation process of the Pixel was done by Google. He said that with Pixel, “we started from the beginning.” Burke adds that this would have never happened with Nexus, and we believe him in that. But where will it end? Burke thinks that the company will eventually be able to ship its own custom “silicon” if the momentum from Pixel keeps moving forward.
Off the bat, observant tech pundits should be able to see that there is an intentional effort to do what Apple is doing with the iPhone – a set of self-developed, self-produced hardware that no partner can make or manufacture as good as they can themselves. This means that Google will have to dive into the world of hardware, and they’re at the deep end of that now – creating accessories, cables, and cases. But it might even reach the point of – as Apple is doing – putting out their own processors for their devices.
Now, how soon we can expect that to happen – there is no telling yet. The pricing of the Pixel smartphones seem to be a challenge that Google needs to hurdle to make it big on the hardware side on their first try. But if the momentum is strong enough that Google can make second and third versions of the Pixel, a custom processor or chipset from Google might not be too far away.