A tide may be turning in Android waters, as heavy manufacturer skinning gives way to demand for cleaner, pure Google offerings. While in the past that meant going with a Nexus device, last year brought us the Google Play edition of handsets, not to mention near-stock efforts from companies like Motorola. And now with Android One on the horizon, this trend is set to continue. Today we learn about another OEM that’s looking to get in on some of this action in its own way, as ZTE reveals plans to feature the Google Now launcher on its phones.
The Google Now launcher debuted with the Nexus 5 last fall, and later came to additional Nexus and GPe models. Now ZTE intends to put the launcher on its Blade Vec 4G for the phone’s upcoming Hong Kong launch. Following that, ZTE says that it will start pre-loading the Now launcher on all its handsets running KitKat and using Google Play Services.
ZTE already enjoys some solid sales numbers, but the company is currently focused on expansion in markets like the US, where it doesn’t yet enjoy a lot of strong brand recognition. Will appealing to users interested in Google’s own vision for Android help it find those new customers it’s looking for? That may not be a sure thing, but we also can’t imagine that this move will hurt its chances any.