It’s already way over half a year since Google started selling the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X, its latest Android smartphones made by partners Huawei and LG respectively. While earlier rumours had indicated that Google was going to partner with HTC, the first OEM to make a Nexus smartphone, it appears that it is not in such a rush after all and that it was going to stick with the tried and test Huawei, at least for this year.
South African tech publication Gearburn which spoke to Huawei’s General Manager for South Africa Charlene Munilall quotes her confirming that the Chinese company would be releasing a new Nexus smartphone this year. “We’re doing the Nexus again this year, by the way,” she told Gearburn during the South African launch of Huawei’s latest devices: the P9, P9 Plus and P9 Lite. Huawei is set to unveil the P9 in Kenya at an event in Nairobi tomorrow (June 7th) morning.
Nexus smartphones are the stuff of legend among hardcore Android fans since they pack pure Android and as such don’t attract a lot of attention from mainstream buyers since they are not usually offered through regular retail channels like carrier stores or tied to contracts. Google opts to sell Nexus smartphones through the Play Store and a handful of other platforms contract-free.
Among all African nations, South Africa has been at the forefront when it comes to buying and using Nexus smartphones in recent years even though the numbers were on the lower side last year with the Huawei-made Google Nexus 6P.
Globally, the Nexus 6P finds itself in a position no other Nexus smartphone has been before: people genuinely love it as a whole and not just for the pure software it runs or being affordable. That is largely attributed to Google’s decision in 2014 to stop making fairly priced devices and just provide the best Android experience on the best hardware it could get from its partners. The result is a smartphone like the 6P that has a camera that can stand up to any other sensors found in today’s top smartphones while also matching them in every other aspect spec for spec as well as design-wise. After raising expectations, it makes sense that Google will want to stick with Huawei even if for one more year.
Huawei CEO Richard Yu recently confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that the company is already working on devices that will be Daydream-ready so this seems to be adding up.
HTC is building a pair of Android N devices for Google internally dubbed M1 and S1 #nexus
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) April 27, 2016
Since details of the specifics are scarce and we are still a long way off, HTC might still be in it by making the other Nexus device while Huawei handles the other. Just like LG last year.