Rumours have been circulating for some time now that Google’s Nexus range could be coming to an end, with Google’s “Android Sliver” programme taking its place next year.
Over the weekend Android Police published a photo – that it was sent exclusively – of what could be the last in the Nexus tablet range. The picture also seems to suggest what the rumor mill has been speculating for some time, that HTC is building the tablet for Google.
The new device is codenamed “Volantis” and sports some serious specifications under the hood including; a 2048 x 1440 8.9-inch screen with 22dpi, 2GB of memory and HTC’s popular front-facing speakers. It will also house Nvidia’s desktop-class Tegra K1 processor, weigh 418 grams and have a 0.31-inch thick aluminium design with “NEXUS” emblazoned across the back -keeping in line with previous models.
Reports suggest that the tablet will cost $399 for the 16GB version, $499 for the 32GB version and $600+ for the LTE version. In terms of a launch date, Android Police speculates that it will be in Q4 2014, with this week’s Google IO coming too soon for the new handset.
Google has been widely rumoured to discontinue the Nexus range in favour of an “Android Sliver” scheme, where, accord to The Information: “manufacturers and wireless carriers will effectively be paid to produce and sell high-end devices that closely adhere to Google specifications”.
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The idea is that Google will be able to regain some control over Android software shipped on particular phones, pump out updates faster and clean-up third-party bloatware. Google hopes to be able to compete with Apple and Samsung in terms of a “pure” eco-system experience. LG and Motorola are the most likely early participants, and with Google Play editions of Galaxy and Z Ultra devices already in existence, Samsung and Galaxy could join-in too.