In the midst to take things in their own hands, Google is preparing to release a self-branded phone by the end of 2016 in an effort to compete directly with Apple’s iPhone, according to a report in The Telegraph. This news follows a similar report in February that stated Google wanted to take “greater control” over the design and building of Nexus phones.Such a move wouldn’t be the first-time for Google as the Pixel C Android tablet was developed entirely through internal resources. “Sources familiar with the discussions” told The Telegraph that the search giant is in discussions with operators and manufacturers that would see it leap into hardware design above and beyond its current partnerships with the likes of LG and Huawei, which make its Nexus phones.Android is the operating system that powers roughly eight in every ten smartphones around the world, but so far Google has stuck to developing free software platforms, leaving handset design and manufacture to the likes of Samsung. The slight exception to the rule has been the company’s Nexus range, which serves as both an example to manufacturers of how to build an Android device, and offer consumers an entirely stock version of the operating system. The Telegraph’s report doesn’t mention what will become of the initiative and phones like the well-received Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.To push the ecosystem forward, Google is reportedly designing the next Nexus solo. Google formally established a hardware division in April, which is headed up by Rick Osterloh, a former president of Motorola. The division was formed in an effort to streamline the production of all the hardware currently in development. And while an own-brand smartphone would always have been on the cards at the division, few expected to see such an aggressive timeline for such a project.At the Code Conference last month, Google’s CEO SundarPichai, admitted that Google would be “investing more effort” into phones. At the time he insisted there would be continued support for the Nexus brand, which is expected to release new handsets later in 2016 built and designed by HTC, another Android-using giant. “Our plan is still to work with other manufacturers,” he said.When asked to comment on the same, Google avoided the Telegraph’s approach and wants to ensure secrecy on this project. What Google fails to understand is that in an era of information leaks, secrecy too can be marketed upon. All said, we are glad Google is taking things into their own hands. Will this be the ultimate battle between Apple and Google? Only time will tell. Until then, let us know what you think about Google’s move.