Google said that Android M is still on track for a fall release, which means that we are likely to see a new Nexus device as well by then. So far, there have been two rumors about which manufacturer will get the chance to make the device. On the one hand, there is LG, already a proven Nexus maker. On the other hand, Huawei‘s name also came up, which would make it the first Chinese OEM to be given the distinction. And apparently, there might be other reasons for this rather novel team-up.
When making Nexus devices, Google has traditionally stuck with mainstream OEMs, none of which come from China. LG and Samsung are Korean. Motorola, though now owned by Lenovo, is still predominantly American. Even HTC is a Taiwanese manufacturer. This rumor then would make Huawei the first from mainland China to make a Nexus device. And that position gives it a strategic advantage in Google’s plans.
Although Android devices are a dime a dozen in China, Google still has a relatively more difficult time pushing its services in the heavily government regulated country. Baidu is the web service provider of choice and Xiaomi, who stands to be the most logical choice for a Nexus partner given its popularity. runs its own mobile ecosystem that actually rivals that of Google’s Play Service. It needs a way to penetrate that market, and Huawei will be that door. The Chinese OEM could help Google set up a local mobile app shop and spread the word about it.
Huawei, on the other hand, will benefit from Google’s knowledge and background in making devices, in particular, smartwatches. A closer partnership with Google will also undoubtedly boost its credibility in the Western market, traditionally weary of brands coming from China.
Of course, all of these are mere reasons on why a Huawei Nexus device might make sense from a business point of view. From a technical perspective, Huawei’s devices have, until recently, been a hit or miss in terms of quality. It will indeed be very interesting to see what Huawei will be able to bring to the Nexus table.