Sundar Pichai sits down with Walt Mossberg at the Code Conference


Google CEO Sundar Pichai sat down with Walt Mossberg of The Verge on Wednesday morning at Recode‘s Code Conference. Topics covered in the half hour-long conversation were the future of the Nexus line, Google’s play with artificial intelligence, the launch of Google Home and its duel with Amazon, his hope that everyone (including Apple) could work on messaging together, Samsung being Android’s biggest partner, and a lot more.

Hit the break for details.


For years, Google has relied on existing hardware manufacturers to develop the devices comprising the Nexus line. So Mossberg, who is a staunch supporter of Apple, pressed Pichai about Google following Apple (and soon Microsoft) in creating its own phones.

On Google making its own phones:

“We today do it as Nexus devices. That’s the plan. They’re not made by us, but we are investing more effort into them. And so you will see us put a lot more thought into our Nexus devices going forward. There are categories beyond phones that we are doing, like Google Chrome and Chromecast and so on.

So I’ll think we’ll be opinionated where we need to be to push the category forward.

For example, today when we ship Nexus phones, we just ship stock Android on Nexus phones. You know, you will see us actually thoughtfully add more features on top of Android on Nexus phones. So there’s a lot of software innovation to be added.

We could be more opinionated about the design of the phones. … Our plan is to still work with OEMs to make phones.”

There you have it. If you were waiting patiently for years for Google to truly assemble its own phone, you’ll have to keep dreaming. Pichai made it clear that the company is happy with what it’s hardware partners have done so far with the Nexus line. And I agree considering the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P have been hits with the public.


On Google working with others on messaging:

“On a platform level and an Android level, we call it RCS and its an evolution of SMS. So we are working with carriers to evolve the platforms so you have an interoperable messaging standard. We would love to support that and we do that, but it’s not a Google service. It’s an open platform level thing.

I would love to see messaging services be more interoperable. You know, I would love to see users on iOS be able to message users on Android. I think it benefits both of us. Hopefully we as an industry head in that direction.”

On Samsung being the only profitable global Android OEM:

“I’ve always felt a strong Samsung is important for Android. I think they drive the high-end of computing on the Android side. But Android is a very open ecosystem. The answer may not be a global one player answering it in every part of the world. You’ve had great examples of many, many regional players in places like India and China … that serve the needs of the market very, very well.

Android is an enabler.”

On Amazon using Android:

“Android is a large-scale open platform. As an Android open platform, they do [use our product]. And enable [using Android as a base].”

On the future of YouTube:

“We see YouTube as very much part of Google. The transition [for the market] to video cuts across everything we do. You know, we don’t feel any loss of momentum. Our numbers are exceptionally strong.

We are focused on premium content. We are creating our own shows. We’ll probably have — over the course of this year — maybe twenty original shows produced for YouTube, for YouTube Red.”

You can watch the full interview from the Code Conference below.

About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studied marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the Google Pixel and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.