This isn't the first time we are hearing this but Google is rumored to be introducing a new concept for its Nexus phone program. The company is also said to be working with LG to develop the next Nexus device, which will be introduced at an event in November.
According to AndroidandMe, Google will open up the Nexus program to any manufacturer under one condition - they must adhere to its strict standards. To qualify for the Nexus program, handset makers must use stock Android and set aside 64MB of secure memory for media streaming.
Custom user interface overlays are allowed under the new "customization center". There is also a list of additional hardware requirements that are needed to ensure that the Nexus devices can support Android 5.0, which is expected to be launched by fall 2013.
DigiTimes also pointed out in its latest report that Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC are all "potential partners" in the Nexus program. Quoting several industry sources, it claims that Google will allow phone vendors to set hardware specifications as well as looks of the upcoming Nexus phones as long as they are based on the latest Android version.
AndroidandMe received a tip off from a source who is not a Google employee but apparently had access to a Nexus device which was handed out last week to Google staff. The Nexus device is claimed to be based on the recently announced LG Optimus G.
AndroidandMe - "I can confirm the next nexus is LG Optimus based. The phone looks surprisingly like the Galaxy Nexus and does not have sharp corners like the LG Optimus we already know. It has a silver’ring like the iPhone 3G around the outer edge of the screen which seemed to be similar to the Galaxy Nexus in size but was much better in brightness.
I couldn’t have said if it was larger in the few minutes that I had the phone. Also, it has Nexus written on the back like the Nexus 7 except there is a color element to it. The ‘X’ is in four colors. There was also the LG logo on the back.
Android 4.2 in its current state looked exactly like the 4.1.1 we love. There were no tabs on that build version for home-screens as you suggested from your other tipster. What I was amazed by is how fluid everything seemed to be from exiting apps, switching, etc. It seems like they’ve increased the number of transitions and their types. It still had the hodge-podge mess of multiple communication tools: Messenger, GTalk, Voice and SMS.”
The source also sent AndroidandMe a photo taken from the alleged device. Examination of the EXIF data reveals an 8-megapixel camera module.
Previous reports have pointed out that HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony are launching Nexus phones this year. A leaked roadmap of Japanese telco NTT DoCoMo shows at least three Nexus devices with each one coming from LG, Samsung and Sony. A tipster also informed GSMArena that HTC is working on a 5-inch device to succeed the Galaxy Nexus.
If Google is indeed changing its Nexus strategy, we will be seeing an onslaught of Nexus devices by the end of the year as each Android vendor has a Nexus offering. With Microsoft pushing its Windows Phone 8 strategy aggressively this year, it remains to be seen who will capture the minds and wallets of consumers at the end of the day.