Nexus 9 WILL Be Built By HTC AND Feature NVIDIA K1 CPU

News Paul Briden 11:52, 24 Sep 2014

Nvidia has let the cat out the bag - the Nexus 9 is coming in Q3 with a Tegra K1 onboard. And HTC is bringing it

Rumours suggesting HTC is behind the wheel of Google's next Nexus tablet have been bubbling away for some time, and previously Nvidia essentially confirmed the fact, along with the existence of the slate in question (see below). However, if further proof were needed that HTC is back in the tablet game with Google as wingman then word from the Wall Street Journal will hopefully enough to convince the remaining skeptics.

The WSJ cited the usual anonymous "people familiar with the matter," but of course, it's a well-respected publication with a wide-reach and a history of accurate reporting on such things. That and the fact it lines up with the Nvidia leak. According to these people, Google has been flying HTC engineers to its Mountain View HQ "in recent months to work on the project."

"Google likes to change its partners from device to device to avoid any one manufacturer gaining a monopoly, said a person familiar with the matter. That’s why Google had been mulling HTC as a Nexus tablet partner since last year, the person said."

It’s no secret that Google has long been wary of Samsung getting too powerful within the Android Kingdom, which is likely the reason Samsung has not produced a Nexus device since 2011’s Nexus 10 tablet. Since then Google has looked to LG and ASUS for 100% of its Nexus products and in 2014 that combo will change once again to Motorola and HTC, with the former doing phones and the latter taking on Google’s new Nexus tablet. 

Nexus 9 Release Date Confirmed By Nvidia 

Nvidia has apparently confirmed the Nexus 9's existence and given a release date of 2014's Q3. The blab may well have been an inadvertent one as it was spotted in a legal document published on Nvidia's website, according to sources cited by Bright Side Of News. The document has since been taken down from the site, but the web being what it is, plenty of people managed to grab screens and quotes if the information.

The document revealed that the Nexus 9 is being manufactured by HTC and will carry Nvidia's Tegra K1 processor.

Why does this document exist? Well it's apparently Nvidia filing a claim with the ITC complaining about Samsung and Qualcomm infringing on its GPU patents.

The fact that Q3 is stated for the launch suggests it could arrive very soon indeed. Q4 is fast approaching, and we've heard plenty of rumours saying Android L will launch in October aboard at least one new Nexus device.

Initial speculation pointed to a launch either during or in the immediate wake of Google I/O 2014, which of course didn’t happen. As of right now, everybody is stumped in this regard…

@upleaks, the new young-pretender, looking to fill the void left in the wake of Evan Blass' – AKA, @evleaks – departure from the leak business, has some “news” about the apparently impending launch of HTC’s T1 tablet which some believe to be the fabled Nexus 9 from Google.

Posting on Twitter, @upleaks stats: “HTC T1 will be release before Oct 9”. Great. But as one reply to the tweet points out, @upleaks has been wrong about the T1’s release in the past, claiming it would land sometime in August, which, of course, has not happened. Does this mean HTC delayed the launch? Or did @upleaks get his wires crossed? 

We do know with a certain degree of confidence that HTC will indeed be building the upcoming Nexus slate – multiple sources, all reliable, have now concluded this.

 October is also looking quite likely as multiple Android L 5.0 leaks (aka Lollipop or Lemon Meringue Pie) point to an October rollout to existing smartphones - that's unlikely to happen without the build debuting on a Nexus device first, usually the new smartphone is the forerunner on that, so we're expecting to see the Nexus X by the end of next month. Whether the Nexus 9 will tag along, or follow on later, is still up in the air.

Nexus 9 Design

IHS Technology, a technology consultancy firm, told CNET that Google is planning to release a larger Nexus tablet later in the year with a “high performance” screen. The tablet is rumoured to be entering production in July this year but will be made in much smaller volumes than the Nexus 7. It’ll also cost a bit more due to higher specifications according to the firm.

And then there’s this: a tablet called the “HTC Volantis” which Android Police claims is the upcoming Nexus 9. Specs for the device sound impressive too, tallying with what we’ve already heard about the tablet – namely that it will be targeted at competing more closely with Apple’s iPad Mini.

Here’s a full breakdown of the Nexus 9’s specs:

  • 8.9" Display at 2048x1440 (281ppi)
  • NVIDIA Logan 64-bit processor (Tegra K1)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32GB internal storage
  • 8MP OIS main camera, 3MP front facing camera
  • Aluminum zero-gap construction
  • Stereo front-facing speakers
  • 8.91"x5.98"x0.31" body (that's 22.63x15.19x0.79cm)
  • 418g (or 427g with LTE) (that's 14.74/15.1 ounces)

In addition to Android Police’s report, a new Twitter-based leak extraordinaire, one @upleaks, has also chimed in with some “alleged” specs for the Nexus 9. According to the @evleaks-backed leaker, the HTC Volantis will feature a 64-bit Tegra K1 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and an 8MP camera. NFC and LTE will also feature, as will a “high performance” 8.9in display. 

Nexus 9 Keyboard Leaks Out

Rumours are suggesting a new snap-on full-sized Bluetooth keyboard cover may accompany the HTC manufactured Nexus 9. It’ll be an optional add on, but a new leak of the keyboard suggests it will be made by HTC itself, not a third party manufacturer.

The images down below come from the National Communications Commission, the equivalent of the US FCC, but for China. It’s not the first time the keyboard has leaked out either, Android Police claims to have seen it before and said it matches up with one codenamed UG0B.

The images also revealed there may be two different versions of the keyboard. The main difference between the two is where the numbers are in the top row. The images don’t show off all the details, it’s currently not clear how you’ll be able to charge the keyboard but we are sure to see all in a matter of time.

The Nexus range has seen third-party keyboards before, but never a keyboard made specifically for the tablet by the same manufacturer. Could this be the influence of the Microsoft Surface range?

Nexus 9 Price

Rhoda Alexander from IHS Technology told CNET she “would not be surprised if it is higher than $299.” Would you spend that kind of money on a Nexus 9 tablet? The source also suggested Google would be producing a third-generation Nexus 7, too. Alexander said, “We still expect to see a 3rd generation of the Nexus 7 product at some point in 2014 but do not have any confirmation of actual contracts for such a product at present.” 

Android Police leaked a bunch of information about the Nexus 9 on the eve of Google I/O 2014. You can see a breakdown of the device’s alleged specs above, as well as a picture of what the HTC-built Nexus tablet looks like. According to the report’s sources, Google will release the tablet inside Q4 and it will come in two flavours: 16GB ($399) and 32GB ($499). 

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