Oct 28, 2021: The Information’s Creator Economy Summit

Sundar Pichai, head of Android. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive
Google Apple

Google Takes Aim at the iPhone with Android “Silver” Program

Photo: Sundar Pichai, head of Android. Photo by Bloomberg.

Google is gearing up for a major effort to spur development of premium Android smartphones and re-assert control over the Android ecosystem as it seeks to better compete with the Apple iPhone and blunt the growing power of Samsung, the leading maker of Android phones.

The expensive effort involves dumping the four-year-old Google Nexus phone brand in favor of a new program called Silver, under which manufacturers and wireless carriers will effectively be paid to produce and sell high-end devices that closely adhere to Google specifications, according to four people briefed on the project. The requirements sharply limit the number of non-Google apps that can be pre-installed on devices, or mandate that phone owners be able to uninstall them. [An update on the Nexus program, which is continuing, can be found here. An update on Android Silver, which is being shut down, is here.]

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Reality Check Apple AR/VR
Snap’s Pixel Deal With Google; Apple Cuts Price on Spatial Audio
The new AirPods have the head tracking of the Pro and Max models before it. Photo: Apple
Exclusive Snapchat features are coming to the latest Pixel phones from Google, including some still-unannounced AR Lenses. It could be Snap’s most effective partnership with a phone maker yet, though that will largely depend on whether Google finally has a hit phone on its hands.As announced today, Pixel users will be able to quickly tap the back of the phone twice to instantly launch Snapchat’...
Latest Briefs
 
Google Alerts Experiences Days-Long Glitch
Google Pushes Down Price of Newest Pixel
Facebook Pilots Novi Crypto Wallet Without Diem
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian in 2019; photo by Bloomberg
Exclusive Enterprise Google
Why a Key Google Cloud Product Ended Up Generating Less Than 0.1% of Revenue
Three months after becoming CEO of Google Cloud, Thomas Kurian tried to shake up the cloud market and gain an edge on his bigger rivals, Amazon and Microsoft.
Illustration by Danielle Davis
Exclusive Startups E-commerce
Heavy Losses, Big Funding: Instant-Delivery Startups Battle for Customers
The instant-delivery wars have hit New York City—and they will soon spread across the country.
Art by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive Startups Facebook
Facebook’s Ad-Tracking Loss Is Startups’ Gain
Apple’s clampdown on ad tracking has prompted some small online merchants to cut back their ad spending on social media sites like Facebook, which they see as a less effective outlet than in the past.
Exclusive Google
How TikTok Is Changing YouTube
YouTube isn’t just trying to mimic TikTok, the viral short-form video app that has taken the world by storm.
Will Shu. Photo courtesy of Deliveroo
The Big Interview Amazon E-commerce
Deliveroo CEO Sees Echoes of Scooter Fad in Ultrafast Delivery
Every few weeks, Will Shu takes a night off as CEO of Amazon-backed Deliveroo to bike through London, delivering restaurant meals or groceries in the place of one of the newly public company’s 110,000 gig workers.
A DoorDash delivery worker. Photo by Bloomberg.
The Briefing Enterprise Apple
Delivery Firms Rush Into Advertising, Where Others Fear to Tread
What is it about the advertising business that makes otherwise sensible businesspeople think it’s the panacea for all their ills?