The Wall Street Journal, Google may be partnering with as many as five different hardware partners for releases this fall. This would mean that each hardware partner would get early access to the next iteration of Android, expected to be Jelly Bean. And, the program would be expanded further to not just include phones, but tablets as well.According to
WSJ speculates that Google's aim is both to lessen fears about Google's purchase of Motorola, but also to try to pull control away from carriers, since Google is expected to be selling the devices directly to customers through the Play Store. Both seem like perfectly reasonable plans, and we'd love to see the carriers get pushed aside a bit, because it would not only lead to faster updates (Verizon Galaxy Nexus users still haven't seen an update), but it would remove restrictions on apps (like Google Wallet).
Last time Google tried to circumvent carriers, it didn't work so well, but at the time Google didn't have an established store yet. We'd expect to still see carrier deals for device releases, but we definitely like the possibilities. This also means we can have all of the options we dreamt about a while back for the Nexus devices. We can have an Asus Nexus tablet as well as a Samsung Nexus tab. And, we could have Nexus phones from Samsung, Sony, and/or Huawei as well.
Google I/O isn't too far away, and we'd expect to get more info on the plans then.