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Google's Pixel phones are shipping this week, and the company has a secret sauce it hopes will guarantee its future. And it's a major shift in strategy for the tech giant, says Reuters global tech editor, Jonathan Weber.>> Well Google has always approached the mobile phone market as one in which it provides software, it provides operating system software for other manufacturers who make their phones.
Google in a way, is recognizing something that Apple has really based its business on for a long time, which is the close integration of hardware and software really has some big advantages.>> In what looked like a challenge to Apple, Google unveiled Pixel earlier this month, and bragged its camera was superior to the iPhone's.
And while no sales numbers have been released, Google executives are claiming preorders beat expectations, and crowing over glowing product reviews. But the thing that takes Pixel to the next level could be the artificial intelligence powering Google Assistant.>> Over the long run, a lot of people think that we're going to basically control our phones with voice.
So instead of clicking on an app, and tapping around, and this and that, we'll just kind of tell the phone hey, book me a flight Chicago tomorrow, or whatever, and that artificial intelligence will do all that. And so, it's critical that the AI be tightly integrated with the hardware for it to be most effective.
>> Still, the business model for the Assistant isn't clear. Google won't say whether or how it will roll out Assistant to Android phone makers. And it's not clear, should Google Assistant become the face of the phone, whether competitors like Samsung would want that. Samsung recently acquired Viv Labs, an artificial intelligence startup, founded by the creators of Siri.