There’s a bunch of disparate rumours floating around surrounding the impending Google Android Nexus tablet. The long held view was that Asus are the manufacturer beinhd the device. Interviews with an Asus chief revealing that Google and Asus shared a “close relationship”. The Verge reported that the fruits of this partnership should be with us this July.
Exynos5250 dual core, mali gpu (vithar), s5k4e5 camera, s5k6a3 camera, wm8994 sound soc and aS6E8AB0 display with 1280×800.
This essentially means that a Samsung chip (Exynos 5) has been spotted in the official Google code base with an interesting resolution. A resolution that could mean it is a large screened phone or a small tablet. Could there be two Nexus devices headed this way? One tablet and one phone by different manufactures? Seems plausible. Of note, according to Android Authority is that camera is a 5 megapixel sensor. A 5 megapixel camera on a top end Nexus phone? Not likely.
A 5 megapixel camera on a top end Nexus phone? Not likely.
But then yesterday the Wall Street Journal released news that Google’s reinvigorated plan to sell devices direct over the internet also included multiple hardware partners. Multiple partners that include Asus and Samsung as well as HTC and Sony all under the Nexus brand.
The scheme mirrors the one that supported the launch of the original Nexus One smartphone three years ago, and permitted Google to sell direct to consumers. This was notable in the US as it changed the relationship between the mobile networks and the consumer. This new Nexus programme will not be confined to the US, with the article indicating Google will open up to Europe and Asia.
So when we add these pieces if information together, we are left with a very plausible scenario. One that features multiple devices of various shapes and sizes all unified by carrying core vanilla versions of Google Android software. Each hardware company gets advanced warning of the next Android version and can create hardware to support it, thus reducing the time lag between Android being released and devices supporting it. This should eliminate the current trend of new phones being released with Android 2.3 for example, even though Ice Cream Sandwich has been available open source for many months.
It will also allay the fears of hardware OEMs who may be squirming at the result of Google buying Motorola. Consumers have yet to see any result of this partnership, and Google seems true to its word that they are not controlling their adopted offspring. But sooner or later there will be something in the works which is more clearly Google designed and built. Offering this olive branch to OEMs is a good way of keeping them on side.
I think the timings stack up nicely too. Google will be holding their development conference this summer and if they are true to form will uncork the next version of Android (rumoured to be Jelly Bean). Asus have not released their budget Memo tablet to market and the link between them and the Nexus tablet still stands. Google will also indicate how the expanded Nexus programme will work at this point.
I would expect to see the first Nexus tablet unveiled shortly after to start the competition with the Kindle Fire, which will get expanded during the autumn when we will see the likes of Samsung jump on board. With their new Galaxy Tab 2 tablet, Samsung have demonstrated that they can do cut-priced hardware well. It might just so happen to have an Exynos 5 processor on board by the time we see it.
Direct selling may only be the start and it is not too difficult to think that we might well see a Google aisle in PC Word or Carphone Warehouse in the not-too-distant future.
It is an exciting prospect, and shows that Google is seeking to take control of the market instead of merely offering a design lead. Direct selling may only be the start and it is not too difficult to think that we might well see a Google aisle in PC Word or Carphone Warehouse in the not-too-distant future.