Google is expected to make a number of releases this year, culminating with the next version of its Android OS and two new Nexus smartphones, developed in partnership with HTC. But a new report says that the company might actually take on Apple and launch its first non-Nexus smartphone this year.

Google’s Nexus smartphones are among the most appreciated on the market, despite the fact that there are users who have complained about some specs, including the battery. The main advantage of Nexus handsets is that they run stock Android and get updates from Google much earlier than any other device on the market.

This is about to change as Google is reportedly planning on releasing its own non-Nexus smartphone to the market, according to The Telegraph. The company will be developing the device itself, which means that it will receive updates faster than any other Android phone on the market, including the Nexus.

The reason for this is that Google won’t have to wait for manufacturers to approve updates before they are offered for download and install. With this new move, the Mountain View-based giant intends to take full control of design and manufacturing, not just software that runs on its Nexus phones.

Google’s smartphone could be unveiled later this year

A comparison with Apple could be made on the matter. Apple has been successful with its iPhone line, partly because it manufactures most of the hardware and software for its product, without having to contract and discuss with other companies. This means that the iPhone provides a smooth experience, thus managing to remain highly competitive in the smartphone market.

It remains to be seen whether and when Google will actually release the new smartphone, but until that happens, two new Nexus devices, codenamed Sailfish and Merlin, are expected to be unveiled in just a few months.

Specs for Sailfish have recently leaked, showing that the handset will be the smaller of the pair, with a display of 5 inches and 4GB of RAM inside while sporting a battery of just 2,770mAh.

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