Upto five manufacturers may be in on the act from the get-go when Google launches Android Jelly Bean later this year. Google has previously partnered with one phone-maker per major update
Reports on Wednesday suggest that, rather than team up with a single manufacturer, Google will launch Android 5.0 with initial offerings from multiple manufacturers.
Throughout the history of the open source operating system, Google has refined the offering with the help of an exclusive launch partner, before releasing the software to other OEMs.
Partners have included HTC, Motorola and most recently Samsung, but those days could be over when Jelly Bean comes along later this year.
The search giant will launch a bevy of handsets and tablets from up to five manufacturers on day one, according to the Wall Street Journal, which also reports that Google is once again planning to abandon networks and sell the handsets directly. That didn't exactly work out well with the Google Nexus One back in 2009.
That would enable customers, according to the report, to buy unlocked, SIM-free handsets and use them in multiple territories without the hassle of getting the shackles taken off before switching providers.
We'll be keeping a close eye on this one. It could see future Android launches have a much bigger impact but, by the same token would certainly reduce the hype for that hand-picked handset.