The Nexus line is definitely not dead. Over the weekend, a report from Android Police claimed Google and the soon-to-be Lenovo-owned Motorola are working together on a 5.9-inch Nexus phone. Today, a separate report from The Information (subscription required) corroborates the earlier report and provides additional details.
Android Police pointed out the existence of a new Nexus device in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code base, code named “Shamu.” As we went over before I/O, Nexus devices are always named after fish. The Nexus 5 is called “Hammerhead,” and the 2013 Nexus 7 is called “Razor.” The devices discovered before I/O were “Molly,” which ended up being the Android TV developer kit, and “Flounder,” which hasn’t surfaced yet but is believed to be a 4:3 Nexus tablet made by HTC. (In theMaterial Design documents and promotional materials, Google frequently shows a 4:3 Android tablet next to other Nexus devices)
Being in AOSP and having a fish codename means the device is definitely a Google-made Android device. The report, which was labeled a “rumor,” says Shamu is a 5.9-inch device that will be manufactured by Motorola. It also mentioned the possibility of a fingerprint sensor and a November release. The name “Shamu” would certainly fit the theme of a large device.
The Information chimed saying that Motorola and Google were working on a “phablet” but did not specify the size, reporting the device is “expected to be unveiled later this year.” Citing “people familiar with the matter,” The Information said that Google wanted to work with Motorola to give the new Nexus some of Motorola’s trademark features, like always-on voice commands and active notifications. Ironically, now that Google and Motorola are parting ways, the report said that the companies are free to collaborate without raising any concerns about preferential treatment from OEMs.
The other interesting tidbit in The Information’s report raised questions about the future of the rumored Android Silver program. Silver was supposed to replace the Nexus program with devices that would be sold in carrier shops with “no or very limited customizations.” The report revealed that Android Silver was being led by Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora. Earlier this month, it wasannounced that Arora would be leaving the company, which The Information said raised “questions about how much firepower Google will give to the Silver program.”
A 5.9-inch screen would put the new Nexus squarely in competition with the Samsung Galaxy Noteline. It would also be the latest in a line of quickly-ballooning Android flagships. The LG G3 andOnePlus One both came in at 5.5-inches, and the Nexus line started at 3.7-inches before growing to 4, 4.65, 4.7, and 4.95-inches. With a potential 5.9-inch phone, that trend looks to continue. We’re gonna need some bigger pants.
source: Ron Amadeo /http://www.arstechnica.com/