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article imageGoogle could be trusting HTC to build this year's Nexus phones

By James Walker     Jan 20, 2016 in Technology
Google has reportedly called on HTC to make this year's Nexus phones, the flagship Android handsets designed to showcase the platform at its best. HTC has built Nexus hardware in the past but not for a couple of years.
According to rumours on Weibo and Twitter, Google has already begun the design work for 2016's Nexus range. It has recruited HTC to build two smartphones, one with a 5-inch display and one with a 5.5-inch display.
HTC was the manufacturer of the first ever Nexus device, 2010's Nexus One. More recently, it built the Nexus 9 tablet in 2014, a popular Android device that took Android tablets up a gear by introducing powerful hardware and a premium design.
After a year's absence, HTC is now thought to be preparing to headline this year's Nexus family. The devices are currently referred to as the 'T50' for the 5.0-inch phone and the 'T55' for the 5.5-inch. No other specifications have been revealed yet.
If the rumours are true then Google is planning to change the Nexus line-up around this year. Display sizes are decreasing in an unusual move for the industry, reduced by 0.2-inches over 2015's Nexus handsets. LG built the 5.2-inch Nexus 5X, returning to the brand after a year's absence, and Huawei took responsibility for the 5.7-inch Nexus 6P. Both received positive reviews but weren't without their issues.
HTC is currently in a difficult financial situation amid declining sales of its smartphones. Poor marketing and self-publicity in the past couple of years have seen it almost vanish from the market despite regular launches of well-received, high-end hardware.
Creating a premium phone to wear Google's branding could be just what the company needs — a buzz of media attention, high-exposure and guaranteed customers in the form of Nexus fans. HTC may be able to increase its sales by building the phones that Android purists tend to flock to.
Nexus phones are popular with people who like stock Android and are prepared to sacrifice some of the features of other manufacturers in order to get it. Besides the lack of any manufacturer bloatware or laggy customised skins, Nexus devices also receive monthly Android updates, keeping users protected from security issues while having access to all the latest features.
For now, HTC's involvement with the 2016 Nexus family remains only rumours. It is possible Google is still scouting out potential partners to work with this year and HTC has made it onto a work-in-progress list. There's still several months to go until the traditional Nexus launch period of late September and much could change in that time.
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