Google is developing a new wireless home entertainment system, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal which could compete with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The report, published on Thursday suggests that the new platform would be marketed under Google’s brand and will be based off their Android operating system, which also runs mobile phones, and parts of Chrome OS. The hardware for the entertainment system is expected to manufactured by Google Inc., something that is new to the company, as they usually include a third party in that process.
For example, Google branded and sold the Nexus smartphone, but it was manufactured by HTC. This allows Google to stay focused on the OS as opposed to hardware solutions. This is the first time that Google would handle both hardware and software, putting them directly in competition with AAPL.
Google’s Android unit has led a multi-year effort to develop the new entertainment device, which may possibly stream other digital media besides music and is expected to be unveiled later this year, people familiar with the matter said.
The new device, along with Google’s pending purchase of device maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., shows how serious the Internet giant is about wanting to control both the software and hardware process, a formula used by rival Apple Inc.
The system is expected to allow users to download music and stream it to Google-branded wireless speakers and other devices, putting it in a competitive market with other devices such as the Sonos home entertainment system, and even Apple’s own AirPort Express, AirPlay, and Apple TV, while not a full entertainment system in itself, it would include many of the features.
WSJ did not report as to when Google is planning to announce, let alone release the system, however, it is very likely that users will see it sometime this year. Streaming is becoming an increasingly competitive market, and Google, being pros in online services, will not give up an opportunity to dominate.