The revelation came from GearBurn who spoke to Charlene Munilall, general manager for Huawei’s Consumer Business Group in South Africa on the side lines of the launch of P9, P9 Lite and P9 Plus in South Africa. Leaked benchmarks of the 2016 version of Nexus 6P have already surfaced so the fact that Huawei is manufacturing a Nexus phone this year is probably a done and dusted deal.
Have we seen the last of 'Pure Android' Nexus phones?
"The Nexus product is a very niche product… the techies love it but there’s a very small number of people that buy it. Hence Cellucity only brought 300… into the country. The operators generally don’t take up the Nexus device. That said, the distributors, our open market, do bring in the device, that’s how Cellucity got it… and that will still be the same this year. We’re doing the Nexus again this year, by the way," said Munilall to GearBurn.
Back in April, it was widely reported that HTC clinched a three-year deal to exclusively manufacture Nexus devices, a deal that a lot of manufacturers would pledge their lives for. The deal meant that not only will HTC manufacture Nexus phones running Android N, but also flagship Nexus phones and tablets running the next two versions of Android. However, given that Huawei is also making a Nexus phone this year, HTC's deal seems far from being exclusive.
Current Nexus devices won't get seamless Android N updates
As per existing leaks and rumours, this year's Nexus phone will come in two variants- one with a 5-inch display and another with a 5.5-inch one. Both variants are expected to launch with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and will run stock Android N operating system. In the new phones, Android N will introduce the split-screen mode, a feature that has so far been implemented in tablets. Aside from being able to view and work on two apps at a time, you will also be able to view the home screen as well as all apps in both portrait and landscape modes in your Nexus phone.
At the recently concluded Code conference, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google is looking at topping up future Nexus phones with new features that won't be part of Android operating systems. He added that even though Google isn't interested in manufacturing future Nexus devices itself, it will be 'more opinionated about the design of the phones' and will take control as and when it sees a need to 'push the devices forward.' "You’ll see us hopefully add more features on top of Android on Nexus phones. There’s a lot of software innovation to be had," he told Walt Mossberg from The Verge.
HTC to make Nexus phones: 6 things to expect
This would mean that the upcoming Nexus phones to be manufactured by HTC and Huawei may run additional software apart from Android N. Even though the industry isn't aware of what additional software will land in Nexus phones, we are sure the general curiosity about Nexus phones may have reached its zenith by now.
This is the second such revelation by Google about its Nexus phones in as many months. During the launch of Android N operating system last month, Google announced that existing Google Nexus devices will not receive seamless updates of Android N OS, but this will not apply to upcoming Nexus phones which will come with Android N preloaded.