Apr 21st, 2014

nexus 8

Google and HTC haven’t exactly been BFFs in the Nexus world, with their only device — the original Nexus One — being a long afterthought at this point. But the duo could be pairing up to bring the next Nexus tablet if the latest reports by DigiTimes are to be believed.

According to them, Taiwanese component manufacturers have been receiving orders for 8-inch HTC devices that will launch under Google’s Nexus brand. It’s nothing we haven’t already heard before, though earlier rumors suggested the device would actually be 8.9 inches. We’re told to expect a third quarter launch of this device which could mean a grand unveiling at Google I/O on June 26th.

Google’s short line of 7-inch Nexus tablets have traditionally launched right around this same time, which could suggest this is less of a supplement and more of a replacement. ASUS will apparently take this break to focus on pushing their own devices. That’s said to be the exact reason HTC declined Google’s olive branch when they were first asked to make the 7-inch line a couple of years back.

This wouldn’t be HTC’s first crack at the tablet scene, with the failed HTC Flyer and the HTC Jetstream duly noted in the company’s history. HTC is already rumored to be attempting a second go at the tablet market now that they have had time to sit back and evaluate their mistakes, and a Nexus device wouldn’t be a bad way to get their feet wet again.

More troubling in this report are murmurings that this will be Google’s final Nexus tablet. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard a rumor like that, with earlier reports stating Google will eventually look to sunset the Nexus line. The stated cause? Because the Nexus tablets were only ever made to boost market penetration for Android tablets, and now that they’re beginning to beat out the iPad in sales that task is reportedly checked off as complete.

At the same time, Google’s device strategy might not end there. The company is expected to continue offering devices with stock Android through the advent of Google Play Edition phones and tablet, many of which are already available over at Google Play.

If you aren’t already educated on GPe, they are versions of popular OEM flagship devices without typical OEM customization. We wouldn’t mind such a future, though it’ll be hard to let go of the notion of getting feature-packed smartphones such as the Nexus 5 for as little as $350, or tablets like the Nexus 7 for as little as $230. Onward to Google I/O to see how this one might unfold.

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