Google, as the owner of Android and one of the world’s most profitable companies, isn’t going anywhere, and as sure as the sun will rise and set, will have a 2016 Nexus on the way. We’ve been wondering about how it all would come together, having been blindsided by the announcement that LG won’t be making a 2016 Nexus but would devote its time to marketing the LG G5 and the upcoming second-generation LG V10 (could be the LG V11 or LG V10 2016 edition?). HTC has gone on record as stating that it will be making a Nexus this year, though we have few details concerning the long-fabled HTC Nexus, but even then, it seemed as though HTC would be the lone manufacturer of 2016 Nexus phones.
That long-held assumption has now been debunked, thanks to Huawei’s South African Consumer Business Group General Manager Charlene Munilall, who told the crowd during the most recent Huawei P9 announcement that “we’re doing the Nexus again this year, by the way,” to drop a piece of information that Google hadn’t even revealed at Google I/O 2016. It would’ve been nice to have heard the announcement, but instead, Google has remained mum about the 2016 Nexus phones — even though we all know they’re on the way.
What makes Munilall’s claim credible is that Google’s Nexus 6 in 2014 with Motorola (and its high retail price) had many Nexus faithful disappointed and looking for cheaper phones. The search engine giant corrected its stance the following year (2015), having released the more budget-friendly LG Nexus 5X as a follow-up to LG’s Nexus 5 in 2013 that won the hearts and minds of avid Nexus fans and the more premium-priced, aluminum metal-unibodied Huawei Nexus 6P. Since LG has dropped out of the 2016 Nexus race, it seems as though HTC has been drafted to replace LG. We think that LG has had a popular Nexus run and that it’s not profitable for the Korean manufacturer to drop out of the race, but we understand that the company wants to market its own products. I purchased an LG Nexus 5 back in 2013 and have to say that I’ve enjoyed it much better than the company’s own 2016 flagship, the LG G5. I’d love to see LG make another Nexus, and the company’s decision to bow out of its Google partnership this year isn’t the wisest move.
And yet, HTC is more than happy to oblige. There is a small subset of Nexus lovers within the Android community, and any manufacturer that partners with Google is sure to get some quick sales (possibly more than they receive the first month after their own phone announcements), so it’s a quick profit for any OEM that jumps aboard the Nexus project. We’re assuming that there’ll be another high-end Huawei Nexus 6P successor since we’ve already seen benchmarks of the 2016 Huawei Nexus that we assumed were true (after all, few “non-existent” flagships would ever appear in benchmarks). Now, we know where HTC will enter the Nexus race: at the more budget-friendly end. This may actually bring the Taiwanese smartphone maker more sales than its own HTC 10.