In a move to assume more control over apps and sales of cell phones and tablets, the Web giant is rumored to start releasing Android software to several mobile-device makers at once.

by Dara Kerr

Google is switching up Android in an effort to gain some control from wireless carriers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the tech giant is planning to grant early access of new releases of the operating system to several mobile-device makers at once and also sell the phones directly to consumers.

Until now, Google would work with only one device maker to create “lead devices,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Only once the “lead device” was produced would the company give access of the software to other mobile makers. Also, all phones were sold via wireless carriers or retailers.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google will collaborate with up to five device-makers to produce an assortment of Nexus “lead devices,” including both smartphones and tablets. These devices will run on Android’s upcoming version called Jelly Bean, which is said to debut in November. Once released, consumers in the U.S., Europe and Asia will be able to buy the devices on Google’s Web site and possibly through some retailers.

This change in Google’s strategy would allow it to make more money off of device sales and give it more control over the apps that are compatible with Android phones and tablets. This would also push wireless carriers further out of the picture.

Google has had a couple upsets with wireless carriers recently. During a public discussion earlier this month, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson said, “Google determines what platform gets the newest releases and when.” Google retorted that this simply wasn’t true.

However, with this new move to assert more control over Android and who uses and sells it could actually prove Stephenson correct.



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