Google is reportedly shifting its focus to hardware at Assistant’s expense

Google’s flurry of {hardware} launches could also be half of a bigger defensive technique. Sources chatting with The Info declare CEO Sundar Pichai sees {hardware} as one of the best ways to be “protected” in opposition to the pitfalls of a altering cell market. Based on Google Assistant VP Sissie Hsiao, Pichai is worried Apple is taking share from Android companions like Samsung, and that antitrust regulators would possibly nix Google’s long-standing deal to make its search engine the default on iPhones.

This can be coming on the expense of help for non-Google merchandise. Whereas Android help apparently stays intact, the corporate is claimed to be investing much less in Assistant for automobiles and third-party {hardware} typically. Hsiao and different execs have reportedly explored transferring workers away from Assistant and Google TV.

Google declined to remark, The Info stated. Nonetheless, the corporate could have cause to take dangers with its {hardware} enterprise. Whereas Android is not about to lose its dominance, any continued shortfalls may eat into Google’s all-important cell advert income even when its iPhone search deal continues unchallenged. In distinction, Hsiao supposedly famous that the Android Automotive platform in use at BMW, Volvo and different corporations is barely now approaching $1 billion in income — a tiny fraction of the $257.6 billion Google made in 2021.

The primary query is whether or not or not Google can develop its {hardware} efforts sufficient to function a hedge in opposition to any issues. Whereas Google revitalized its cellphone lineup with final 12 months’s Pixel 6 and the just-launched Pixel 7, it is not but clear this has translated to improved gross sales. Google moved simply 4.5 million telephones in 2021 the place Apple and Google shipped effectively over 200 million every. And whereas Google-powered good audio system have carried out effectively (they’re second solely to Amazon in lifetime gross sales), the corporate is barely simply making its first in-house smartwatch. It is also reentering the pill area after a years-long hiatus.

There’s additionally a fear Google would possibly play favorites. The Info maintains that Google is concentrating on offering the perfect companies to “premium” Android companions like Samsung, OnePlus and Xiaomi. That might damage different manufacturers that may not get equal entry to Assistant and different key options. For those who’re involved in regards to the long-term well being of the Android ecosystem, the reported focus shift may not be very reassuring.

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