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Google rumoured to be working with HTC on 8-inch Nexus tablet

by Mark Tyson on 21 April 2014, 16:06

Tags: HTC (TPE:2498), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), PC

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Google is reportedly ditching ASUS and partnering with HTC for its new 8-inch Nexus tablet. The upcoming standard Google tablet will be released in the third quarter, according to sources from the upstream supply chain, reports DigiTimes.

The change in partner is largely related to Google possibly shaking up the design for its next-gen Nexus models. Prior to its cooperation with ASUS for the first-generation Nexus 7, Google had already attempted to partner with HTC regarding the joint venture. The offer was turned down as HTC was concentrating on pushing its smartphone business at that time.

After partnering with Google for the first two generations of Nexus 7, ASUS has not been "as aggressive over third-generation Nexus orders". The reason might be that Google has placed restrictions on the partnership, cutting ASUS from the development side of things. The DigiTimes sources also added that ASUS will be able to concentrate its own-brand tablets and smartphones fully if it drops the Nexus partnership.

Interestingly it is also suggested that Google is not being very aggressive about its new generation of Nexus tablets as the series has already achieved the objective of enhancing Android's saturation in the tablet market. Some market watchers even believe that this new 8-inch device could be the last tablet released by Google, as it is expected to have minimal impact in the tablet market as a whole.

A previous Google and HTC collaboration

New affordable Nexus smartphone

According to a report from Asia, unearthed by BGR, Google may be working on a new affordable Nexus smartphone, an entry to mid-range device which will be priced under the magic $100 figure.

Reportedly, the device will pack an unspecified MediaTek processor. This will be a custom processor, said to be being worked on by Google and the Taiwanese chipmaker, just for this new Nexus smartphone. No further details have been published about this Nexus initiative and it is still unclear as to which handset maker would manufacture such an affordable Nexus handset.

Google will hold its annual developers conference in late June, we are hoping that it will reveal more details about the rumoured devices and its future Android plans at that time.



HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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Google is reportedly ditching ASUS and partnering with HTC for its new 8-inch Nexus tablet
Okay, so Google's planning to ditch Asus (who have a pretty good record in developing tablets) for HTC (who don't have any real track record, and seem to still be struggling to boot)? Doesn't strike me as a particularly clever move unless the idea is to “spread the love” and perhaps prevent HTC from switching over to becoming a Windows Phone only vendor. Last comment was because there's been consistent rumours that the new HTC One M8 may be available as a Windows Phone 8.1 device.

While I appreciate that Google wouldn't want to make Samsung even stronger, I would have thought that there's better choices out there. Sony for one, LG for another.
crossy
Okay, so Google's planning to ditch Asus (who have a pretty good record in developing tablets) for HTC (who don't have any real track record, and seem to still be struggling to boot)? Doesn't strike me as a particularly clever move unless the idea is to “spread the love” and perhaps prevent HTC from switching over to becoming a Windows Phone only vendor. Last comment was because there's been consistent rumours that the new HTC One M8 may be available as a Windows Phone 8.1 device.

While I appreciate that Google wouldn't want to make Samsung even stronger, I would have thought that there's better choices out there. Sony for one, LG for another.

An 8" tablet is supposedly a premium device though, and HTC are pretty darned good at making a metal device that feels premium. LG have already had the nexus 4 and 5 so they've had their chance, Sony… Do we even have a developer edition of a Sony phone? I thought that was a challenge because traditionally Sony isn't friendly to open source/collaboration (at least that's the impression I've got, probably just opinion and a wrong one at that). Samsung had their chance at the nexus 10 and while it had a premium price it was still plastic with low quality cameras and other peripherals, so I can imagine Google would be reluctant to go with them again, even though they do make great SoCs.
CampGareth
An 8" tablet is supposedly a premium device though, and HTC are pretty darned good at making a metal device that feels premium. LG have already had the nexus 4 and 5 so they've had their chance, Sony… Do we even have a developer edition of a Sony phone? I thought that was a challenge because traditionally Sony isn't friendly to open source/collaboration (at least that's the impression I've got, probably just opinion and a wrong one at that). Samsung had their chance at the nexus 10 and while it had a premium price it was still plastic with low quality cameras and other peripherals, so I can imagine Google would be reluctant to go with them again, even though they do make great SoCs.
I definitely wouldn't want Samsung to do any “Nexus 8” since they're fundamentally incapable of: (a) not putting in those Samsung “value add” features that actually cheapen a device; and (b) despite being reasonably well built, both Samsung devices I've got can look “budget” from the wrong angles.

As you say, LG's already done the Nexus 4 and 5 - both pretty well received devices from what I've seen. In which case surely it makes sense to see what they could do with a larger form factor?

Sony? Well, yes. No “Developer Edition” - but if Google want to continue the “Nexus” line then choosing Sony would be a great way to demonstrate that there's no favouritism going on. Plus, I'll argue that Sony are the closest to having that undeserved desirability halo that Apple enjoy. And while Sony's tablets haven't exactly set the world on fire, they did look good compared to similar priced devices.

Plus, picking Sony would be darned good for Sony themselves - I've heard consistent complaints that they've still not “got with the programme” and are being slow doing updates for their devices. Bit difficult to get a device that's updated quicker than a Nexus, so good to be able to counteract that “slow/no update” perception.
I imagine that the sub $100 Nexus will be a variant of the Moto E or just the Moto E itself. Just as when there were rumours of a LG made Nexus tablet, just turned out to be a GPE of the LG G Pad.