October is fast approaching and with it, the promise of not just Android L but of the next Nexus device. While there is still some uncertainty whether it will be another Nexus smartphone, believed to be Motorola’s Nexus 6 or “Shamu”, or a tablet, the media favorite seems to be the underdog, which, in this case, is HTC.
Of all the major Android manufacturers, it is HTC that has had the worst of luck when it comes to tablets. Even Motorola, who hasn’t actually outed a tablet in a long time as well, can be considered to have enjoyed relative success compared to HTC’s stylus-toting Flyer. It is then, quite puzzling that leaks and rumors almost all point to HTC as the maker of the next Nexus tablet, currently dubbed the Nexus 9. Even insider sources say so, claiming that the OEM’s execs have been flying to Google HQ to iron out the details.
Then again, Google’s OEM partner selection has never been orthodox. It has never stuck long with a single manufacturer, except, perhaps for ASUS, who has now made two Nexus tablets, and LG, maker of the two latest Nexus smartphones. Google has never let market metrics determine its choice. In fact, it could be said that Google’s almost random selection ensures that no single OEM becomes too predominant, which would probably explain why it isn’t going with Samsung this time, who has already designed one Nexus tablet and two Nexus smartphones.
Google’s relationship with Samsung is tenuous at best. Many a time the two have forged deals and partnerships that would seem to strengthen the bonds between the two and yet the tension remains. Google and Samsung have entered into a licensing agreement early this year, reportedly with a pact to stop Samsung from diverging too much from the Android experience, exemplified by its Magazine UX back then. At I/O 2014 last June, the two appeared on stage to announce yet another team up, this time to bring parts of Samsung’s KNOX security framework into an enterprise-friendly Android L. Despite that, Samsung has never wavered from its goal of positioning Tizen as its own Android rival, especially for smartwatches and smart TVs, a stance from the top Android device maker that surely worries Google.
But we’re really talking about HTC here. While its performance with tablets can be best described as disappointing, its smartphone track record offers a bit of hope, even if it isn’t exactly astronomical. After all, it does have experience in the Nexus line, with the Nexus One, the aptly named first Google Nexus device. And its flagship line starting from the HTC One up to the One M8 have been met with flattery, including imitation. The HTC Nexus 9 will definitely be an interesting device to look out for if just to see if HTC still has what it takes to keep up with the Android market.
Source: The Wall Street Journal