There’s a rumor going around about HTC: that is, the Taiwanese manufacturer who’s struggled to maintain any relevance in the smartphone business will have a resurrection this year. We’re not sure about a financial resurrection, but Google may come to rescue the once-legendary smartphone maker with a pair of Nexus devices. That’s right: HTC is charged with crafting Google’s 2016 Nexus smartphones.
Now, this sounds too good to be true for some, but a new info leak by Twitter member @LlabTooFeR gives credence to the HTC Nexus rumor. “Allegedly related to HTC Nexus devices codenamed are: T50, T55,” the Twitter rumor leak reads. You can see the tweet in the image above.
Codenames for devices are the real deal, showing that a device is indeed in the works (companies don’t name devices that have no genuine existence). The codenames are taken from the display sizes: one device will have a 5-inch display (T50 for 5.0), while the other will have a 5.5-inch display (hence “T55” for “5.5”).
While it’s easy to focus on the news about the codenames, there’s something else significant here: that is, that two devices (not one only) are confirmed for the end of 2016. Google has been in the business of crafting only 1 Nexus smartphone a year (Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and Nexus 6 from 2012, 2013, and 2014), but the company took a different turn with Motorola’s Nexus 6: whereas earlier phones were priced at the $350 or less price range, the Nexus 6 became the first Nexus history-making smartphone to have a price tag of $649. Nexus fans didn’t take too kindly to the double price hike, so Google mixed things up by bringing back a more budget-friendly smartphone made by LG, with a name reminiscent of the Nexus 5 (Nexus 5X) in order to get the Nexus fan base to rally around the search engine giant once more.
It seems that the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P offerings are the start of a new trend: if the new HTC Nexus smartphones — plural, not singular — hold true, then other manufacturers in 2017 and beyond will make two devices for Nexus fans worldwide. While this may cannibalize high-end flagships sales for the Nexus 6P and future flagships, Google considers it to be under the label of “choice.” The HTC Nexus devices, as was the case with the LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6P, are expected to arrive in Fall 2016 (as early as September).
HTC has made a Nexus device before, but the company has been put out of the Nexus flagships by the likes of LG and Samsung ever since. LG went on to craft the Nexus 4 (2012), Nexus 5 (2013), and now the Nexus 5X (2015). Motorola made the Nexus 6 (2015), and Huawei is the newest manufacturer to have a hand in the Nexus series (Nexus 6P), although HTC did make the Nexus 9 (the company’s most recent Nexus device). Could Google revive HTC’s legendary name with two new Nexus devices? For some Google fans, the Nexus collection just turned interesting again.