Is Google planning to start building its own smartphones?

This year saw a first for Google's Nexus line with not one but two phones released under the Nexus banner: the budget friendly Nexus 5X and the premium Nexus 6P. Both phones have had a successful launch and have intrigued reviewers as well as stock Android enthusiasts.

The Nexus 5X saw LG return as a collaborator after working alongside Google to produce the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5. For the Nexus 6P, Google chose to work alongside Huawei which allowed it to incorporate their fingerprint technology into both the Nexus 5X and the 6P.

Last year's launch of Motorola's Nexus 6 really divided consumers and showed that there was demand for both a premium and a budget Nexus device. This year's lineup of Nexus devices has helped Google to establish more of a presence amongst the crowded lineup of Android smartphones and has led the company to consider re-entering the hardware side of the business.

This might come as a surprise for many who follow Google's business moves closely. Last year, Google sold Motorola to Lenovo despite the company's success with its Moto line and Moto Maker smartphone customisation suite. Google defended the move due to the complications that owning a hardware manufacturer could have with its Android manufacturing partners such as Samsung, LG, HTC, etc.

Although few concrete details concerning Google's reentry into the Android device market exist at this time, there is a serious debate and discussion going on internally at the company. This move could be particularly beneficial for Google as it would give the company a level of control over the Android experience similar to Apple's control of the iPhone.

This control of both software and hardware could help further level the playing field between Google and its biggest competitor Apple.