About a year after Google (GOOG) gave Samsung (005930) the rights to build its flagship Galaxy Nexus, it’s now rumored that LG (06657011) is next in line to build a Nexus-branded Android smartphone. According to MoDaCo, LG’s Nexus smartphone will be derivative of its beefy Optimus G that BGR took a look at last month. MoDaCo says it has “confirmed” the following specs for LG’s Nexus: quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, 1280×768 resolution display, on-screen soft keys, 8-megapixel camera, 8GB and 16GB internal storage models (no microSD card slot), non-removable battery and wireless charging. In addition to the purported spec leak, MoDaCo says that it’s also possible that other manufacturers might be building Nexus smartphones as well. That jibes well with news that Google could split its Nexus smartphones among numerous handset makers. LG’s Nexus smartphone will reportedly be released in mid-November.
HTC’s (2498) rumored DROID Incredible X smartphone has allegedly been chosen as one of Google’s (GOOG) upcoming Nexus devices, according to a report from GSM Arena. Google is widely expected to have not one but five new Nexus devices available to consumers this fall. Earlier this year, the search giant partnered with ASUS (2357) to release the Nexus 7 tablet, the first Nexus-branded device of 2012. The Mountain View-based company has reportedly partnered with HTC to produce the Google “Nexus 5″ smartphone. More →
During the annual Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009, a struggling smartphone company that had once helped shape the mobile industry unveiled its next-generation platform. It was gorgeous. The design was unique and appealing, the gesture-based controls were smart and intuitive, and the company’s new smartphone operating system offered a breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by just two major players, Apple and Google.
On August 18th, 2011, less than three years after this promising new platform was unveiled, it was effectively laid to rest.
Android smartphones are not typically updated very frequently, leaving many owners to either try and update their own device, or wait for months or even years to get the latest operating system. The technical lead developer on the Android Open Source Project believes the slow update rate many Android users have had to endure is “very reasonable.” Sometimes, Jean-Baptiste Queru revealed his opinion on his Google+ page in a congratulatory post towards Sony, who recently updated its Tablet S to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The developer said the Japanese company was the biggest contributor to Android, leaving all other manufacturers playing catch-up. Due to its contributions, Sony is able to ensure timely updates for its own devices, while helping the community as a whole. Queru said the complexity of moving from Android 3.0 to Android 4.0 is the reason it took Sony five-months to updates its tablet.
“This is actually a very reasonable time, since under the hood Ice Cream Sandwich is quite different from Honeycomb (and upgrades from Gingerbread are likely to take longer as those differences are huge),” he said.
The employee did express disappointment that some of Google’s own flagship devices had not been updated, and he places the blame on “operator approvals.” Queru went out to praise Google’s latest effort to continue selling smartphones directly to consumers through its online store. “I’m very glad that Google is back in the business of selling phones directly without any middlemen to interfere, and I’ll be even happier when I see that program expanded to more countries.” More →
The Google-branded Nexus tablet the search giant is rumored to be co-developing with ASUS may be pushed back until July. Earlier reports had the device slated for launch some time in June, with an unveiling possibly set for Google’s annual I/O conference on June 27th. Unnamed sources informed The Verge on Friday that Google pushed back its planned release so it could tweak the device, however. The 7-inch tablet is supposedly equipped with a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Wi-Fi connectivity. The device would reportedly cost $249 in its current state, but Google and ASUS are both looking to reduce the price. Earlier rumors indicted that the Mountain View-based company was attempting to offer the tablet for as little as $149. It has also been speculated that Google could be delaying the planned release in order to pre-load its tablet with the next version of Android — Jelly Bean. The Verge claims this scenario is unlikely though, as the current product is designed for Android 4.0. More →
Google’s mobile payment service has gotten a fair amount of attention from the media, but user and partner adoption has been slow since the service was unveiled nearly a year ago. Google Wallet is the Internet giant’s eWallet offering, which incorporates NFC technology and allows users to pay for purchases using their Android smartphones rather than physical credit cards. According to Bloomberg, Google is now rethinking its service in an effort to bolster adoption. Citing multiple unnamed sources, the site claims Google is currently weighing the possibility of implementing a revenue-sharing model that would give wireless carriers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T a cut of Google’s fees when subscribers make purchases using their Google Wallet-enabled devices. “They are in a bit of a re-evaluation pattern right now,” Aite Group analyst Rick Oglesby told Bloomberg. “It’s going much slower than anticipated.” More →
Google chairman Eric Schmidt started a firestorm when he was quoted saying the company planned to “market a tablet of the highest quality.” Since then, speculation surrounding a Google-branded slate has nearly spiraled out of control. DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim recently fueled the fire, suggesting that a Nexus-branded tablet will enter production in April for an initial run of between 1.5 million and 2 million units. Further reports also suggested that the Mountain View-based company had reached out to ASUS to design the Google-branded slate based on its Eee Pad MeMo tablet. Now, a new rumor suggests that ASUS has scrapped its $249 MeMo to focus solely on the “Nexus tablet.” Read on for more. More →
Following LG’s statement that the company is “heavily in discussions” with Google to become the next Nexus partner, HTC said it too is in discussions with the software giant. According to a new report from TechRadar, the Taiwanese handset maker is in talks with Google in hopes of being selected to design the company’s next flagship smartphone. Google previously worked with HTC to craft the original Nexus One. “Google hasn’t chosen its Nexus partner for (Android) Jellybean as yet. So right now all the manufacturers are crossing their fingers,” HTC’s global online communications manager Jeff Gordon said in a statement that has since been removed. Gordon said that the notion of being the next Nexus partner is “still very attractive to all OEMs, despite the imminent takeover of Motorola.” Gordon didn’t give an exact date as to when Android 5.0 would be released, but stated the company’s current priority is to bring Ice Cream Sandwich to its current device lineup.
UPDATE: HTC contacted BGR via email to clarify that the comments above were taken out of context, and Gordon was misquoted at least once as well. TechRadar, the source of the statements quoted above, has pulled the original article on its own volition as a result. More →
LG, which was once a leading player in the mobile space, has yet to make a real splash in the Android era of smartphones. The company is looking to change that, however, with the next Google Nexus device. “We’re heavily in discussions,” the head of LG’s smartphone division Ramchan Woo said in an interview with CNET. “We’re working on it.” Google’s partners have been concerned that the company will let Motorola, which it recently acquired, get access to the latest Android updates before other vendors. Partnering with LG would stem speculation that the search giant is playing favorites, although Woo warned that there has not been any commitment made thus far. Read on for more. More →
Speculation surrounding an own-brand Google tablet began late last year when Google chairman Eric Schmidt was quoted as saying the company planned to soon “market a tablet of the highest quality.” The slate is expected by many to be a 7-inch Nexus-branded device that will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and compete with the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet at $199. The device could also push some Android partners out of the tablet market. Speaking with CNET, DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim stoked the fire, noting that the Google slate will enter production in April and the initial run will yield between 1.5 million and 2 million units. Shim also said that the Nexus Tablet will feature a high-resolution 1,280 x 800-pixel 7-inch display, besting Amazon’s 1,024 x 600-pixel panel. “I don’t know how they plan on marketing it,” Shim said. “If it’s going to be a premium device, or if it’s going to be a Kindle Fire type competitor.” April production could mean the tablet will launch as soon as the second quarter this year. More →
Media tablets powered by Google’s Android operating system have for the most part been unable to capture consumers’ interest. With just a few exceptions, sales of individual Android tablet models have been extremely low by all accounts. Amazon’s new Kindle Fire is one such exception thanks to an attractive price point and tight integration with Amazon services. Google has seemingly taken note of Amazon’s success, and a new report suggests the company is working on a budget-priced slate of its own that will launch in the next few months. Read on for more. More →
Google may be preparing to take its mobile efforts to the next level as it tests a Google-branded MVNO in Spain. Unconfirmed reports accompanied by photos of a Google SIM card and a Nexus S running on a “Google_Es” network suggest that Google is toying with the idea of becoming a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, or a company that provides cellular service by leasing capacity from existing wireless carriers and piggybacking on their networks. The photos suggest that testing is in the late stages as Google has already printed branded SIM cards, which have reportedly been delivered to Google Spain employees for testing. Additional details are scarce for the time being, but a Google-branded MVNO with deep Google Voice integration and a portfolio of Android devices from its potential Motorola acquisition could give the tech giant unprecedented control over the user experience. There is currently no firm indication that Google is testing similar services in other markets. Additional images follow below.
On August 15th, Google announced its intentions to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion and Motorola’s competitors all voiced support for the deal, suggesting the acquisition would help each company fight in patent battles against Apple and Microsoft. FossPatents, however, recently revealed a document that suggests Motorola Mobility could soon have the upper hand when it comes to new Android builds. An internal document that was released by a judge in the Oracle vs. Google case says Google should provide Motorola Mobility with the latest versions of the Android operating system ahead of its competitors:
- Do not develop in the open. Instead, make source code available after innovation is complete
- Lead device concept: Give early access to the software to partners who build and distribute devices to our specification (ie, Motorola and Verizon). They get a non-contractual time to market advantage and in return they align to our standard.
As FossPatents points out, it is unlikely the above information is simply about Google’s Nexus line of products. As we’ve exclusively reported, Google’s first Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” phone will be made by Samsung. In addition, Google typically markets its Nexus products under its own name, not that of other handset manufacturers, so Motorola’s brand wouldn’t get the benefit. Either way, we can’t say we’re surprised by the proposed strategy to give Motorola the lead. Read on for an image of the court document. More →