In less than three weeks, Google’s current Nexus phone, the Galaxy Nexus, is going to turn one year old. That means we’re due for an upgrade. Back in May, The Wall Street Journal said that we’re going to see multiple Nexus smartphones launched during the holiday shopping season, but that rumor is now being challenged. According to Android and Me, Google is going to announce just one new Nexus phone this month. And the next version of Android, allegedly called Key Lime Pie, isn’t going to be version 5.0, but instead 4.2. Their server logs already show several hits from a device running Android 4.2, and while it’s easy enough to fake Android version numbers, we don’t think someone would go through all that trouble just to punk the Android community.

What do we know about this next Nexus? The three sources who spoke to Android and Me say the phone has already leaked. That could mean the Galaxy Nexus II, but it could also mean the LG Optimus G.

What do we at Android Authority think about all this? Our gut says that the next Nexus will be a minor update to the Galaxy Nexus. The next “major” version of Android will likely be shown off early next year because that’s when we can expect to see next generation hardware. By “next generation” we mean new chips that use ARM’s Cortex A15 processor such as the Texas Instruments OMAP 5. Qualcomm’s quad core Snapdragon S4 is going to start shipping in phones this month, but not in any meaningful quantities. It’s going to take a while for production to ramp up, so it makes sense for Google to host a major event in 2013 instead of this year.

Remember the first Nexus, the Nexus One? It was announced in early January. We could see a repeat of that sort of timing, and maybe that’s when Google will unveil this so called “portfolio” of Nexus smartphones.

  • For awhile now, it’s been pretty clear the next Android release should be — like 4.1 before it — a ‘minor’ one. In fact, given the incredibly slow adoption rates for both Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, I’d say Google has little choice but to keep their OS ambitions in check through the end of 2012.

    Even the most diehard fan will admit that Android’s UI needs tidying-up (c.f.: Ron Amadeo’s fine AP article in order to catch up with iOS. Building on the foundation of Holo and Project Butter, v4.2 could bring the consistent, intuitive UX Google needs to stem losses to iP5 or WP8.

    A 4.2 (or even 4.1.x) iteration is the perfect chance to do exactly that, plus maybe surprise us with improved versions of some native apps. Best of all, it buys Google much-needed time for improving infrastructure (e.g.: SDK/NDK program), without creating yet another 12-month roadblock for devs and OEMs.

  • I would really like the next nexus to use one of the exynos 4 range of SOC’s like the exynos 4212 or 4412. As it would allow the s3 to be supported for a very long time due to porting hwcomposers and propitiatory blobs for newer versions of android to the s3. Just like how the galaxy s1 has huge Jelly Been dev community due to the nexus s having the same SOC. :D

  • Hayatte

    oh my. i think it’s going to be an HTC phone. a couple of developers
    from XDA are teasing people since yesterday. They are saying on the htc
    one x forum threads that something awesome is coming. they just can’t
    say any information yet because it is still confidential but they are
    saying it’s coming very soooon.

    • Do you have a link to the xda dev forum post?

  • noxas

    the instant i find out the specs of this upcoming nexus phone ill finally
    be able to decide whether to wait and get this or to get the Galaxy
    Note 2! Dying to get a new phone or phablet but dont want to jump the
    gun and find out the new nexus is a 5″ tegra 3 phablet with 2gb ram etc

  • Eddie Chenoweth

    Liz Gannes said in this week in tech that a phone related to one of the speakers would be in the schwag bag. There is only two speakers that seem to fit. Nokia president and CEO Stephan Elop… and Andy Rubin.