The new strategy that Google plans to implement is to first diversify its partnership with phone manufacturers. Whereas before, the company would only work with one manufacturer in developing its Google Nexus phones, the new strategy is to offer consumers an array of Nexus phones and tablets that have been developed and manufactured by up to five different manufacturers. This is already a huge change in strategy. But the bigger move is that Google now plans to sell these phones directly to consumers through the addition of a Devices section in the Google Play Store. These new tactics will be implemented when the company releases Android 5.0, codenamed Jelly Bean.
This is as major a strategy change as it comes and with this new direction Google is now aligning itself more with Microsoft’s own strategy with its Windows and Windows Phone properties.
Google’s move may be a way to finally help with the more streamlined release of new Android updates and OS versions. At this point, Android is suffering from the very slow rollout or new OS versions because phone manufacturers still tinker with the OS and make their own personal modifications before it is released. Five months after Ice Cream Sandwich was released, only a handful of phones carry the OS. Google knows that at some point, this is going to hurt Android so it wants a new channel on which to release phones with the latest Android versions.