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Rumor: Huawei May Be Google’s Next Nexus Partner

March 4, 2015 - Written By David Steele

We’ve seen rumors circulating that Google are to use a Chinese supplier for the next generation of Nexus devices, purportedly due out in the fourth quarter this year. We’ve also seen rumors that Google will partner LG for a Nexus device: both of these could be true if we are seeing a tablet and a smartphone, or both could simply be speculation. We are now seeing that Kevin Yang, the Director of China Research at iSuppli (a leading market research firm) wrote on Weibo earlier today that Google have chose Huawei as the next Nexus manufacturing partner.

If true – and I need to remind readers that this is highly speculative at this juncture – it makes for a very interesting development. Why Huawei? It may be that Xiaomi are too big a competitor for Google, thanks to Xiaomi’s cloud services and forked version of Android. Why not Lenovo and Motorola again? Perhaps Huawei are willing to partner Google as part of their charm offensive to increase market share in the North American market after being called a security threat just two years ago. After all, if Google trusts Huawei, shouldn’t the US population also trust Huawei? We have seen Huawei bring to the market a number of very respectable devices during the last twelve months including the Ascend Mate 7 and Honor 6 Plus. How different would the experience of these devices be running stock Android?

Google have used the Nexus products to showcase where it wishes to direct Android and to introduce new hardware platforms. Huawei have their own, capable in-house processor manufacturing capability in the form of the Kirin SoC (System-on-Chip); Google has not been afraid of using different component suppliers for Nexus devices, as witnessed by the Samsung-built Galaxy Nexus using a Texas Instruments chip, the two LG Nexus devices running Qualcomm and the HTC Nexus 9 using a Nvidia processor. Not all of Google’s hardware choices have been adopted by the wider industry.

Still, it would be an interesting development if Huawei pick up the Nexus baton later in the year. We’ll have to wait and see, but meanwhile what do our readers think? Do you own a recent Huawei smartphone? Would you prefer it if it ran stock Android? Would it gain more than it lost? Let us know in the comments below.