Qualcomm and Google target IoT devices with Android Things

Qualcomm and Google have announced a new collaboration to support the development of a variety of connected devices aimed at both consumer and industrial applications.

The collaboration itself will focus on combining Google’s Android operating system with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor, which if successful, could give the internet giant a much more significant role in the burgeoning IoT arena. Google has been relatively quiet in the IoT space to-date, though linking the OS’ market penetration with its public cloud business unit could create a powerful player in the segment.

The tie-up also gives Google impressive scale following Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP in October. The $47 billion purchase broadened Qualcomm’s capabilities bringing in expertise in the automotive, smart home, smart city and NFC segments. Bringing together the world’s most common OS and the largest mobile processor vendor, has the potential to replicate the Wintel (Windows/Intel) relationship that dominated the PC era.

“Since the launch of the first Android phone, Qualcomm Technologies and Google have closely collaborated to create exciting new opportunities for developers in mobile, wearables and the IoT,” said Jeffery Torrance, VP of Business Development at Qualcomm Technologies. “We are pleased to announce our intent to work with Google on this new initiative to expand the Android ecosystem. We anticipate many new and exciting IoT products will result as developers are able to bring the power of the Snapdragon processor together with Android Things.”

The key here to market domination will be the role of the Google Cloud Platform, as while creating a strong position from an Android-IoT perspective would be a useful addition; it’s not really more that the link between real-life and intelligence. Alphabet has been heavily investing in the world of artificial intelligence, data analytics and real-time engagement, leaving Google in a strong position in the insight game, but the link between the point-of-collection and the intelligence suite has to be there first and foremost. An IoT device is only as good as its link with the intelligent cloud and the back-end insight services; this is where the major win for Google will be.

AWS and IBM Bluemix have both already made strong moves in the IoT cloud platform space, as has Microsoft with the Azure IoT suite, but with the Android Things operating on the front-end, there is potential for Google cloud to muscle its way up from the pack of the pack. As in the initial public cloud race, Google will be playing catch-up with some of the early birds, though the Qualgle/Goocomm partnership opens the door a crack.

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