Google Dropping Hardware Partners With New Chromebook?

Google Dropping Hardware Partners With New Chromebook?
Kimhiro Hoshino | AFP | Getty Images

Google is planning to roll out a Google-branded touchscreen model Chromebook, according to a report.

In the past, Google has relied on hardware partners like Samsung and Acer to produce the Chromebook, which is a low-cost computer that runs on Google's Chrome operating system and is built to be used while connected to the Internet.

But China Times is reporting that Google placed the order for the Chromebooks to a Taiwan-based manufacturer itself, instead of relying on its hardware partners.

Chromebooks, which sell for a low price, store most data in the cloud instead of relying on a hard drive.

The latest models of the Chromebook, the Samsung Series 3 and the Acer C7, sell for $249 and $199, but don't feature a touchscreen. The China Times says Google's self-branded device would have a touchscreen, which would most likely increase the cost of the Chromebook.

A move by Google to have its own Chromebook seems a natural move by the company as it begins to compete more directly with other hardware competitors like Apple and Microsoft. Google already dominates the mobile space with its Android operating system and has gained hardware cred with its Nexus 7 tablet.