LG Exec denies plans for an LG Nexus 6: what this means for the future of Nexus family

June 18, 2014
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Nexus 5 Android 4.4 KitKat Hands On

With all the recent talk of Android Silver and whispers of the death of the Nexus line, there’s many a Nexus fan out there wondering what Google has in store for us. There’s also some of us that are hoping that the Nexus series will continue on into the forseeable future, despite the rumors.

With both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 proving to be extremely popular compared to past Nexus phones, it seems that LG would be a natural choice for partnership when it comes to the next-gen Nexus handset. Unfortunately, this might not be the case. Speaking to the Dutch publication Draad Breuk, LG’s Communications Director Ken Hong claims that they have yet to be approached by Google for a new phone and that they should have been contacted by now, at least if the Nexus 6 (or N5 2014?) is in fact slated for release this year.

(Rough translation) I know at least not yet. Normally, we were informed. That can mean two things: Either I got ignored, or we simply won't be making 'the next Nexus phone'.
Ken Hong
LG Communications Director

So what do Hong’s remarks mean for the future of the Nexus line? While can’t say with any certainty, there’s a few possible outcomes that can be theorized here.

The Nexus family is in fact dead, at least when it comes to phones

We’ve been hearing about the death of Nexus since late last year. More recently the rumors have picked up momentum with the claims that the series will be replaced by the new Android Silver program in the first half of 2015. But what about 2014? With no Android Silver ready, surely Google won’t pull the plug on the Nexus family just yet.

Unfortunately, if a series of tweets from Evan Blass (evleaks) back in May prove correct, they just might kill the line and make us wait for something to replace our current Nexus products — or at least that could be the case for the Nexus phone family.

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In the tweets, Blass claimed that the Nexus 6 wouldn’t be happening and that there was “a silver lining to this cloud”. With LG now denying its involvement in the next-gen Nexus, perhaps it’s really true?

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The Nexus phone will be built by another manufacturer

Of course, just because LG isn’t involved in the Nexus line doesn’t mean the whole program is being thrown out the window just yet. In the last few months we’ve heard a number of rumors claiming HTC might be involved in a project to create a new Nexus tablet, the first time the company has been involved in the Nexus program since the Nexus One back in 2010.

With HTC rumored to be going with someone different for the tablet line, who is to say they won’t try a similar tactic for its next phone? As to who this partner could be? That’s harder to say. In the past Google has worked with Asus, Samsung, LG and HTC. LG is supposedly out of the picture and it seems unlikely that HTC would build both the Nexus phone and tablet.

With HTC rumored to be going with someone different for the tablet line, who is to say they won’t try a similar tactic for its next phone?

Doing the math, that means IF another Nexus phone is coming this year, we are either looking at Samsung, Asus or someone new. While not always the case, the Nexus line has often been a way to bring attention to lesser known brands. In turn, these lesser brands are willing to sell their devices at extremely aggressive prices in return for the boost to brand recognition.

This leaves the question: what brands could do with a boost in rep? Considering Lenovo’s plans to expand its global recognition, Lenovo or Motorola seem like obvious choices. On the other hand, Sony could also do with improved U.S. recognition, and even brands like Asus and Oppo could use a bit more exposure when it comes to smartphones.

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LG is simply being coy, or speaking in half-truths

Another possibility is that LG is being coy. After all, a semi-similar situation happened with the Nexus 5. While LG never actually denied its plans for a new Nexus, a mistranslation mishap sure made it sound that way.

The main difference here though is that LG isn’t giving us a “maybe, maybe not” stance like they did with the Nexus 5, instead they seem to be flatly stating that the Nexus 6 isn’t an LG project. That said, the traditional timeframe for a Nexus launch is in the fall, so there’s still a chance Google will approach LG soon and throw something together for release this year.

There’s also the possibility that LG isn’t working on a Nexus product, but is instead working on an Android Silver device

There’s also the possibility that LG isn’t working on a Nexus product, but is instead working on an Android Silver device. This stance is backed by an earlier May tweet from Evleaks, which claims a Sprint LG handset will be among the first of the Android Silver phones.

While current reports claim that Android Silver won’t happen until early 2015, there’s a slim chance that Google could move quicker than expected and release the first fruits of this effort in 2014. Or Google could simply have decided that in order to successfully transition from Nexus to Android Silver, they needed to let the Nexus line go cold in 2014.

Regardless, we wouldn’t give up on the possibility of a Google phone in 2014 just yet, even if it ends up from a different vendor or with a totally different branding other than the familiar Nexus moniker. Would you be disappointed if Google holds off releasing a new phone until early 2015, or is the Nexus 5 more than capable of holding up as Google’s flagship gem until then?

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