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Google will reportedly release its own phone this year

The tech giant is currently in talks with mobile operators to release its own non-Nexus device, according to reports.

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Google is reportedly planning to go head to head with Apple and the iPhone by releasing its own phone in 2016.

The tech titan is currently in negotiations with mobile operators about releasing the device later this year, the Telegraph reported Monday, citing "sources familiar with the discussions."

Releasing a non-Nexus, Google-branded phone would put the company in direct competition with Apple on the hardware front for the first time. Between them, the two companies dominate the smartphone world with Android and iOS software featuring on the majority of mobile devices sold worldwide.

Google is responsible for a number of hit phones that have been sold under the Nexus brand -- the most recent being the Nexus 5X and 6P -- but these have always been built in collaboration with major Android phone manufacturers such as Huawei, LG and HTC. Google will continue to partner with other companies and is also known to be working on Project Ara, a separate, modular smartphone project not due for release until 2017.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.