News arrived just yesterday that Muskie, what was expected to be a successor to the Pixel XL, might have been canceled, leaving us with only two Pixel devices in development for release later this year. These are believed to be codenamed Walleye and Taimen, and speculation from 9to5Google now suggests that the larger of the devices, Taimen, will be built by LG.
9to5Google points to a bug entry on the Android Issue Tracker from March, reported by an LG employee, as evidence of the South Korean manufacturer’s relationship to Taimen. A Google employee requested that the bug is moved to thread: Android > Partner > External > LGE > Taimen > power. The “LGE” branch that Taimen is a part of likely indicates “LG Electronics.”
If it’s true, this would mean that the Nexus 5 and Nexus 5X manufacturer would be back in the saddle for the new device, while the manufacturer behind the smaller Walleye handset is expected to be HTC following rumors of a two-year deal with Google.
Interestingly, in an article from The Investor that suggested LG would make the third-gen Pixel (which LG promptly denied), it was also asserted that LG might make some Pixel phones this year. Given what we’re now hearing, this makes more sense.
It’s also possible that LG’s Taimen handset will fill in the gap left by Muskie and be the new Pixel XL successor (it was previously expected to be significantly larger than the Pixel XL to differentiate it from the proposed Muskie).
Google is taking a more “hands-on” approach to the devices developed in its name since last year — the Pixel and Pixel XL are described as the first Google phones, despite that the company has partnered with manufacturers on devices for eight or so years — so whether you like LG or not, this is still expected to be Google’s baby.
What are your thoughts on the potential for LG to build a new Google phone? Let us know in the comments.