Nexus is a series of consumer electronic devices that run the Android operating system. Google manages all the standards of hardware, develops the software - that is pure stock Android, marketing, and future software updates. The devices are manufactured by partnering original equipment manufacturers. The Nexus series consists of 6 smartphones, four tablets, and a Nexus Player. The sales of Nexus smartphones are usually greater than that of tablets. Smartphones in the Nexus line are considered Google's flagship Android products and give a very tough competition to other OEMs flagships. The LG Nexus 5 gave a tough competition to LG's flagship LG G2 at its time. Nexus phones and tablets contain no manufacturer modifications to the original Android UI. All Nexus devices feature an unlockable bootloader to allow further development, modding, flashing custom ROMs, and end-user modification. Nexus devices are often among the first Android devices to receive updates to the Android Operating system.
Google has partnered up with different OEMs in the development of different Nexus phones. Google's first Nexus phone, the Nexus One, was made by HTC in January 2010. Google released Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus in December 2010 and November 2011 which were made by Samsung. The fourth Nexus device was made by LG with a distinct glass back. It was released back in November 2012 and still receives updates from Google. Google's latest Android 5.1 update is now seeding to most Nexus 4 devices. Google's Nexus 4 was a success and then Nexus 5 was also manufactured by LG Electronics. Nexus 5 was released on November 2013. Google acquired Motorola Mobility in 2011, but Motorola made its first and only Nexus device in 2014. Nexus 6 is the latest Nexus device and is made by Motorola.
It is hard to predict which smartphone vendor would be chosen by Google to manufacture their next Nexus phones, it could be Huawei or LG, which most of the rumors suggest. But Lenovo and Xiaomi are also good competitors in a race that would win them a chance to manufacture a Google Nexus. Lenovo recently bought Motorola Mobility from Google, and Google to build strong relationship with the Chinese Manufacturer Lenovo might ask Lenovo to manufacture the new Nexus phones. Xiaomi is now world's 3rd top smartphone manufacturers and has a very strong hold in China. Google may choose Xiaomi either for strengthening its presence in China or to get the 3rd top manufacturer with its customer base. Huawei is also a good candidate for the next Nexus phone because of its strong performance in both the mature and emerging markets like Pakistan and India. Google could strengthen its presence in Pakistan, India, and China if the next devices are made by Huawei. The race to win the most awaited Google Nexus phone is really between the Chinese manufacturers Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo. LG, HTC, and Motorola are good competitors but having made previous Nexus smartphones makes them stay behind in this race. Let's see who wins the race.