Google plots an Android product offensive against Apple and Microsoft, analyst says

Google may be trying to blunt the buzz around product launches by rivals Apple and Microsoft in the coming weeks by putting new Android phones in the pipeline, according to one securities analyst.

After talking with Android developers, the analyst, Trip Chowdhry, managing director for equity research at Global Equities Research, concluded "that Google is undertaking a 'carpet bombing' approach to both Apple and Microsoft launches."

Apple is expected to launch a "mini" version of its iPad tablet within weeks and Microsoft's Surface tablets are expected to start appearing in the retail channel at the end of the month.

"Developers continue to believe that we can see at least a couple of more new Google Android devices in the first week of November," Chowdhry wrote in a research note Wednesday. "Some developers think there may be six more Android device launches with various partners time-spaced to take the thunder out of both Apple iPad mini and Microsoft tablet and phone launches."

Samsung Galaxy S III

Chowdhry also noted that developers feel confident Samsung will release a down-sized version of its popular Galaxy S III next week. "Looking at the source code of Jelly Been [Android 4.1], small screen size support looks very plausible was the convergent view we got," he wrote.

Reports speculating that Samsung would release a Galaxy S III with a slightly smaller screen than the standard model began appearing Wednesday, following news that the South Korean's company’s German branch had begun sending out invitations to the press for an event to be held Oct. 11 to learn "how big small can be."

If the specs being bandied about the smaller Galaxy S III are true, describing the unit as "mini" is a bit misleading. According to rumors, the smartphone will have a four-inch display, which will make it about the same size as the iPhone 5. It's expected, however, to be priced below the Apple handset.

A similar shrinking smartphone rumor appeared last year about the iPhone. At that time, the Wall Street Journal and others predicted that Apple would release an iPhone "Nano" that would be about half the size of an iPhone 4. No such device has been marketed by Apple to date.

If Google and its Android partners decide to adopt the "carpet bombing" approach cited by Chowdhry, it could backfire. Choice is a good thing, but too much choice isn't. A rash of new Android devices could result in the kind of consumer confusion that will drive sales toward, not away, from competitors.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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