With the latest Freebox, the Freebox v7, coming to anxiously awaiting Free users sometime in 2015, Xavier Niel may be set to bring a surprise to Free’s new box in the form of Android TV, which will reportedly be at the heart of the v7 according to the French Android expert blog, Frandroid. This move is a bit unexpected, to say the least, given the Free-Google ‘#Adgate’ war from earlier this year.
Free is certainly not alone in its move toward Google’s OS. Bouygues’ connected ‘Project Miami’ will run on Android, as will SFR’s Box RED which prominently features Google Play. Although Free had always gravitated towards championing its on system and applications, user preference towards Android continues to evolve. As Android continues to gain ground in France and elsewhere in terms of usage and applications, it makes sense that users would want a common platform across their various tech-oriented devices.
Free, when asked about the potential Android news, essentially remained mum on the question. Free would neither confirm nor deny the ‘rumor’, but responded that “as always, no one (outside of a small group at Free presumably) knows anything” and that “there’s never been a leak about a Freebox launch.”
Free is well-known to be tight-lipped about their big launches. But given the recent acrimony between Free and Google, it remains a bit surprising that Free wouldn’t deny outright a collaboration between the two. Guess we’ll have to wait until all becomes clear in 2015.