To Compete With Apple, Google Plans To Design Own Mobile Hardware
In a bid to compete with Apple, which designs its own mobile processor, Google is planning to create its own silicon chips that can power Android phones. In this way the company wants to ensure that Android phones match the performance offered by the iPhone.
Google recently launched the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P in partnership LG and Huawei, Google’s friends who actually make the phone hardware. these are two good phones and we noted the same in our reviews. But they have one soft spot the mobile processor that powers them.
This is particularly a problem when seen in the context of processor that powers the iPhone 6S, an even the processor that is inside the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Compared to the Apple’s A9 processor, the chips inside the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 not only offer somewhat lower performance but also run hotter and possibly consume more battery. Even the Exynos 7420 used in phones like Samsung Galaxy S6 is faster than the “dragons”.
This is a problem for Google because with the existing processors it can’t compete well enough with the iPhone. Now Apple’s A9 is so good because it is a processor custom designed by Apple keeping its specific requirements in the mind.
In comparison, processors like the Snapdragon 810 and 808 have been designed keeping in mind the needs and demands from a number of phone companies, who each have their own way of looking at the hardware. At the same time, all these companies are also trying to get the cost down and even if Qualcomm comes up with a processor that is utterly butterly fast, the phone companies may not pay the high price. Probably Google realises this now. And that should make Android users happy.
For Google, designing own phone processor will also help the company align its Android software more seamlessly with the hardware, at least in phones like the Nexus 5X.
That said, designing a phone processor is not an easy task. Apple reportedly started building its processor teams way back in 2009 and 2010 and has probably spent billions of dollars in putting together its A series CPUs. Intel, which happens to be the world’s top silicon chip firm, is trying hard to come up with viable and best in class mobile processors for the last 5 to 6 years but hasn’t been too successful.