In the days leading to the October 4 Google event you may have come across the name Hiroshi Lockheimer, if you heard about Google’s Android/Chrome OS hybrid Andromeda. He is the SVP of Android, Chrome OS, and Google Play. And when Lockheimer tweeted about the October 4th event being as historic a moment as the launch of the first Android phone in 2008, everyone started speculating he might be talking about Andromeda. Turns out, his tweet was all about Google Assistant instead.I recently talked about how the Google Pixel might affect the Android Landscape and I mentioned Rick Osterloh’s statement given to Bloomberg saying that Osterloh’s team is blocked from the Android development. Osterloh and his team are responsible for Google’s hardware, including the Pixel phones. In an interview to Ars Technica, Lockheimer has confirmed the same.
According to him, his team, which is responsible for ‘platforms’ such as Android and Chrome OS, works with various partners such as Samsung, LG, HTC, and now Rick Osteroh’s team. This means that the Google does not get any benefit from controlling both the hardware and software aspects of the Pixel, at least according to what the Google execs are saying.
Lockheimer goes on to say that Google’s partners such as Samsung knew from the very first day, in 2008 when the first android came to light, that there will be several OEMs for Android, and it will not be exclusive. According to him, with th launch of Google Pixel, Lockheimer and his team have only just added another partner to their list. He further explains that they work closely with Samsung and LG and both of them, as well as others know this fact, and they trust Lockheimer’s team to not spill out secrets.
“The Pixel phones are additive to the Android ecosystem and shouldn’t steal the thunder from OEMs” -Ars Technica
Of course, nobody in their right mind would ever think Google wouldn’t want to anymore work with other OEMs because the very reason Android has been successful is because various OEMs, depending upon their reach, have penetrated the market with Android smartphones. This would never have been possible with just one exclusive partnership.
So it makes sense that Google has found a way to make their own smartphone without scaring off its partners. Lockheimer says competing amongst each other is “The Android Way.”
So does this mean Google is not actually operating at Apple’s level still? It’s hard to believe that two teams working within the same company, which can create a better product together, will have a firewall between them.
What do you think? Do you believe Osterloh’s and Lockheimer’s team would actually work exclusively within the same company?
Make sure to read the full interview at Ars Technica.