Google’s solution to Android fragmentation? In-house chip designs, reportedly
Have you ever wished Google would be more like Apple in certain aspects of the Android ecosystem’s “administration?” There’s a fundamental openness difference between the two most popular mobile operating systems in the world, and the antithetical approaches to software updates and hardware manufacturing both come with their benefits and tradeoffs.
But couldn’t perhaps a middle-of-the-road strategy help eliminate or at least limit Android fragmentation while retaining the platform’s diversity forte? That’s a delicate question Google currently seeks the answer to, according to insiders, who claim the Android phones of tomorrow might pack processors developed in part by the search giant and open-source software supplier.
No, Google doesn’t intend to set up semiconductor fabrication plants and challenge the likes of TSMC or Intel, but it could look to share chip design responsibilities with Qualcomm, MediaTek or even Samsung, ultimately leaving the mass production of the components to the professionals.
That’s somewhat akin to Apple’s A-series evolution process, though you have to figure Google would be a little less involved in the practice, at least for starters and if it can persuade someone like Qualcomm to accept the tweaked deal.
Then, the actual device makers would also need to agree, so overall, this sounds like an awfully tricky to enforce strategy. The goal is obviously to control exactly what goes into the best Android phones around, as well as better optimize the circuitry paired with the smooth but often laggy OS.
In the long haul, Google reportedly wants to blend augmented and virtual reality support into Android, so setting up guidelines for chipset designs may be the key to a cutting-edge mobile future. A future where updates also spread faster, requiring less “optimization” for a dozen different SoCs.