updated 06:05 pm EDT, Wed May 11, 2011
Google makes Android Hardware team
Google in a low-key move has set up a hardware group dedicated solely to building hardware devices and using some of VP Andy Rubin's former Danger teammates. An Android@Home and Android Open Accessory.
Their projects are intended to help third parties develop their own equipment later. The team doesn't have any immediate attentions to make official Google accessories to sell, though Britt would like to do it in the future. Reference phones like the Nexus S aren't known to have involvement from the Android Hardware team but do have collaboration between Google and a third-party phone designer like Samsung.
Britt and Hershenson were, along with Rubin, founders of Danger, which made the Hiptop and later the Sidekick. Rubin left in 2003 to eventually develop Android, but the remaining two stayed on after Microsoft subsumed Danger in 2008. After the internal Microsoft jealousy that ultimately sabotaged the Kin, they made clear their dissatisfaction with the company by leaving it the same day the Kin reached Verizon stores.
A dedicated hardware team is new for Google but takes a sharply different approach to that of Apple. iOS and the iPod have long had official accessories, but Apple normally only provides basic hardware guidelines and doesn't create examples except for its own finished products.