In the Android development cycle, all major versions with the exceptions of Gingerbread / Honeycomb have launched at the end of the year. And as per a popular journal, Android Jelly Bean is likely to launch this year, “by Thanksgiving”. So is this gonna be Android 5.0 or any other version?
Well the answer depends on Google’s plans for their I/O developer event that is scheduled to take place this June. There are two options available for Andy Rubin’s team. First is to launch an Android 4.1 version with some improvements at I/O and call it Jelly Bean, then give a new name to Android 5.0. Second use the event to showcase upcoming features of Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, and release it this fall.
According to the rumor, Google is getting together five manufacturers that are likely to be Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Sony and LG to release the “Nexus devices” simultaneously this fall. Following the likes of what Microsoft does with Windows and WP7 manufacturers, Google plans to launch the next version of Android with all five of them simultaneously with the other less important manufacturers launching a bit late.
For users this move would mean that they can choose from at least five different smartphones and maybe even some tablets if manufacturers choose to release both a smartphone and a tablet. Thus the options for stock Android devices will improve significantly. So in case you don’t like a particular Nexus device, there are other options to choose from and users don’t have to wait for a couple of months for other devices to appear.
If this deal happens then the market will be flooded with stock devices and since manufacturers will have early access to Android code, upgradation and launching of new devices will be faster. But the first devices will definitely be stock Android only. The Nexus devices are most likely to be sold through Google’s Play Store in the US, Europe and Asia. This is again a great move for Google as they will be able to shift the control over Android from carriers.
This move wont actually affect the carriers much since most people opt to buy smartphones through carrier subsidies. However, markets in Europe and Asia might get affected bad. On the whole, this is indeed a very smart move from Google that will benefit the consumers, manufacturers and also themselves.