Report: Huawei's Nexus Tablet With Andromeda Is Canceled

Huawei's Nexus tablet which was supposed to run Andromeda was canceled after being prototyped by the Chinese original equipment manufacturer in collaboration with Google, sources familiar with the project said earlier this week. Reports of the device being scrapped started emerging in early summer and have now been given more credence, with insiders claiming that the tablet was meant to mark the first commercialization of Andromeda, Google's mysterious operating system that's supposed to allow the company to move away from the Linux kernel powering Android. Apart from Huawei's Andromeda tablet envisioned as part of the Nexus lineup, Google was also reportedly working on a convertible portable computer codenamed Bison, sources said, noting how that product was meant to be a hybrid of a laptop and a tablet, possibly being similar to Microsoft's Surface lineup or Lenovo's Yoga Book series.

Google's work on Andromeda was supposedly brought to an almost complete halt at some point this year, with only some of its components ending up being implemented in Android 8.0 Oreo. With the demise of the operating system, Google saw no point in moving forward with the hardware that was meant to house it and consequently ended up scrapping Huawei's Nexus tablet, sources said. The tablet itself apparently wasn't meant to be a premium device and featured a relatively low-entry build, rubberized plastic back included. Its overall shape was rectangular and it likely featured a display panel with a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio, the latest reports suggest. People who saw the Huawei-made device in person describe it as a combination of the Nexus 7 and Nexus 9, adding that its physical footprint was more similar to the former and hence implying that the product had a 7-inch screen, likely with a Full HD resolution. Huawei is said to have equipped its canceled device with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal flash memory expandable via a microSD card tray, as well as a high-end system-on-chip, though it's currently unclear whether the company opted for one of Qualcomm's Snapdragon offerings or a piece of silicon from Nvidia.

The source apparently wasn't impressed with the general aesthetic of the device, describing it as a combination of "the worst" features from the Nexus 7 and Nexus 9 which were manufactured by ASUS and HTC, respectively. Being designed as a member of the Nexus family, the tablet was likely a value-oriented offering which would presumably be priced at approximately $300 had it ever hit the market. The device was also equipped with a USB Type-C port, though it's unclear whether it shared this feature with the aforementioned Bison, though that seems like a probable scenario, with the hybrid product reportedly being designed as a more premium and traditional flagship running Android instead of an experimental operating system.

Following the cancellation of the Bison, Google reportedly shifted its focus the Chromebook Pixel, a new Chrome OS-powered device which has been the subject of some rumors in recent months. It's possible that a number of the Bison's features and design cues made its way to Google's upcoming Chromebook as the company is unlikely to have started its development from scratch, especially since the device is already said to be finished and will allegedly be officially introduced by the Alphabet-owned tech giant come October 4. Google is holding a major hardware event on that date when the company already promised to introduce the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2, its next-generation Android flagships which are meant to be the successors to the original Pixel lineup.

Much like the 2016 Pixel devices were launched alongside the Google Home smart speaker, their revisions are purported to debut simultaneously with a smaller version of the Google Assistant-enabled speaker which will presumably seek to directly compete with Amazon's Echo Dot product lineup. The Mountain View, California-based firm is also said to be preparing to unveil at least one Google Assistant-enabled pair of headphones at the upcoming event. The so-called "Bisto" product category is understood to be the next step in Google's efforts to expand its artificial intelligence ecosystem and will entail both first-party and third-party products from manufacturers like Bose, with the latter supposedly working on a Google Assistant-compatible successor to its QuietComfort 35 headphones. Google's October event is also presumed to mark the last major Android flagship launch in 2017 and will serve as an overture to this year's holiday season, traditionally the most lucrative period for consumer electronics manufacturers whose company Google is trying to join.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]