As part of a larger strategy shift, Google is reportedly planning to debut five Android-supported Nexus devices by Thanksgiving. What’s more -- in what The Wall Street Journal calls “a bid to create a united front with smartphone and tablet makers to take on rivals like Apple and prevent wireless carriers from controlling the devices” -- Google is expected to give multiple mobile-device makers early access to new releases of Android, and to sell those devices directly to consumers.
Previously, Google would join with only one hardware maker at a time to produce "lead devices" before releasing the software to other device makers. Those lead devices were then sold to consumers through wireless carriers or retailers.
As sources tell WSJ, the expansion of direct sales is part of an effort by Google to exert more control over key features and apps that run on Android-powered phones and tablets, and, in turn, reducing the influence of wireless carriers over such devices.