Google is tipped to launch at least two new smartphones come October 4th, even though the company hasn’t yet confirmed anything. This is on the back of news that Google is doing away with the Nexus program, where it got its Android OEM partners to build smartphones and tablets for it that then shipped with a new version of Android as a way of showcasing it to developers and other Android OEMs while selling it to users.
According to renowned leaker Evan Blass, it is not just the two smartphones that are on the cards. Google may be having a tablet on the way too. According to Blass, the tablet is being made by Chinese device maker Huawei and it will feature a 7-inch display and have 4GB RAM. The tablet is expected to be released by the end of the year which means that we’re likely to see the so-called Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones first before it follows a month later.
Google's Huawei-built 7-inch tablet, with 4GB RAM, on track for release before the end of the year.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 5, 2016
The latest Nexus tablet from Google is the Nexus 9, made by HTC, which was launched two years ago. HTC has since ceased production of the tablet. Before the Nexus 9, there was everyone’s favourite small tablet, the Nexus 7 which appeared in two iterations in two years (2012 and 2013). Google dropped software support for the 2012 Nexus 7 model last year when it did not provide a Marshmallow update for it. This year, the axe fell on the 2013 model which is missing out on Android Nougat. As such, it’s not hard to see the need for a new tablet. More so one that will showcase the not-so-stock Android that Google is rumoured to be transitioning to on the Pixel devices as it does away with the Nexus devices that have always run vanilla Android.
Huawei is one of the two companies (the other one is LG) that made last year’s Nexus smartphones (the 6P and 5X). This year, it is HTC that is making the smartphones we expect Google to unveil in place of the Nexus devices. The devices are expected to arrive running an update to Nougat, Android 7.1. LG’s upcoming V20 smartphone is the first one to run on Android 7.0. What we don’t know is if this tablet will have any semblance to the current Pixel C, Google’s first own-brand tablet.