Google is reportedly working on a way to cut out the carrier middle man from its Android smartphones and tablets.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the search giant has plans to provide hardware makers with early access to new versions of the Android operating system, and then sell the resulting devices through its own online store.
The Journal says Google is making the move in an effort to better control Android's various features and apps.
Carriers are currently able to exert significant control over Android handsets by loading them with their own proprietary apps and determining when updates to the operating system roll out, a point that has been a thorn in many Android users' sides for quite some time.[5 Ways to Boost Your Android Phone's Performance]
The Google controlled devices will fall under the Nexus naming convention. The phones and tablets will be sold unlocked, meaning you'll have to fork over way more cash than you would if you purchased them with a carrier contract.
Google has a history of working hand in hand with smartphone and tablet makers on specific devices. The company famously worked closely with Samsung for the launch of its Galaxy Nexus smartphone, which also marked the debut of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The difference between that situation and what The Journal is reporting is that Google would be teaming with multiple hardware partners at once rather than working with just one.
So when can you get your hands on one of these new breeds of Android handsets? Well, if the reports hold true, then you'll have to wait until Google releases its next major version of Android, currently known as Jelly Bean.