The Nexus line of hardware was a major turning point for Google. The search giant and software developer finally made a splash in hardware production. A new report from this morning indicates that Google may also be getting more involved its first foray into hardware - the Chromebook.
The China Times reports that Google has ordered the components for a new series of self-branded Chromebooks. What makes these Chromebooks different from Google's Nexus hardware is that the company will be building these themselves without the help of OEMs like Samsung. The report says that Google will be relying on Taiwan-based Compai to manufacture the new Chromebooks.
So, what will a Google-made Chromebook look like? The report doesn't get into specifics, but it mentions that it will have a touch display. It doesn't seem like Chrome OS would benefit from a touch display all that much, but Google could be going for a redesign similar to Windows 8. If that's the case, Google could directly compete with Microsoft's much more expensive touch display notebooks and Ultrabooks.
Speaking of competition, Google would also be directly competing with the current Chromebooks made by Samsung and Acer. Earlier this year, Microsoft made its OEM partners angry by announcing the Surface without telling them about it first. One would hope that Google wouldn't make the same mistake by being transparent with its partners before launching any new hardware itself.
Current Chromebook makers don't have anything to worry about yet, however, as Google has reportedly ordered a small amount of Chromebooks. TechCrunch figures that Google could just be internally testing these new Chromebooks while having no intention to ever sell them to the public at large. It's a likely scenario as companies build new hardware all the time that never actually sees the light of day.
Regardless, Google building its own Chromebook makes a lot of sense. It would let Google undercut the competition from Windows 8 even more, and it may even lead to other self-branded Google products. The company may rely on third-party partners now to build its Nexus line of smartphones and tablets, but we may see a Google-built Nexus smartphone or tablet in the future.