Consumers and developers may have a pair of new Nexus phones to choose from this year. That’s according to Phone Arena, which has a supply chain source suggesting the dual model approach. Offering two similar but different Nexus handsets would be a first for Google, which has generally created one new Nexus phone every 10 to 14 months since early 2010.
There’s no information to suggest that anyone but Motorola is involved with an upcoming Nexus phone. Google often rotates through hardware partners with previous Nexus phones coming from HTC, Samsung and LG. I’d be shocked if Motorola isn’t this year’s partner at this point. But which phone — or phones — will the company dub a Nexus?
Various benchmark leaks over the past few weeks have shown several Motorola handsets in the works. And Phone Arena’s source suggests that two could share Nexus duties:
The main Nexus X is already set to be 5.9-inches, as we’ve stated before. But, word has it that if Motorola releases the 5.9-inch Moto S, Google may repurpose the 5.2-inch Moto S units as a second Nexus device.
The intent of Google’s Nexus program is two-fold, but it doesn’t need two phones to achieve it. Mainly, Google wants to give developers a good hardware platform that showcases its newest Android software while also offering consumers a pure Android experience — with software updates direct from Google — at a reasonable off-contract price. I don’t see how two separate phones helps this strategy at all. It doesn’t hinder it either, but in a sense it confuses the Nexus line in what’s already a niche market.
Only Google knows what Google is going to do, of course. I would be very surprised if it changes its Nexus approach with two different new phones, however.
The only way the scenario makes sense to me is if Google releases one with a 32-bit capable chip and one that’s 64-bit. And if it does that — admittedly a long shot — the two phones may not even become available at the same time since chip vendors are still transitioning to 64-bit compatibility. One exception here is Nvidia which appears to have the chip inside the expected Nexus 9 tablet built by HTC.