HTC Might Build Google’s 2016 Nexus Handsets: 3D Touch Display Rumoured

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HTC is apparently being lined up to build Google’s 2016 Nexus handsets. The company has worked with Google in the past, building the Nexus One as well as the T-Mobile G1, but has fallen on tough times recently after a series of poorly received handset launches.

In 2016 the company is looking to regain its footing in the consumer technology space with the release of a bunch of new products, including a VR headset and some fitness gear — both of which have been getting very positive write-ups of late. We also have a new flagship to look forward to and, potentially, two Nexus handsets.

Android & Me reports that Google has chosen HTC to build 2016’s Nexus range of smartphones. According to the report, which cites sources in China, there will be two handsets: one with a 5in display and one with a 5.5in display. Both will run the next iteration of Google’s Android platform, Android N.

What HTC could bring to the fold in terms or USPs, however, remains to be seen. The company has always produced decent looking handsets, though its insistence on metal-solves-all in recent times has grown rather tired; the M9 looked too much like the M8 and featured very little in the way of notable improvements. HTC got an absolute grilling over it and sales were pretty dire as well, meaning the company has something of an uphill struggle ahead of it in 2016. 

Nevertheless, OEM duties for Google’s forthcoming Nexus handsets could be just what the doctor ordered. Building a Nexus handset did wonders for LG and Samsung and Huawei, so maybe it will work its magic for HTC in 2016/17? Huawei and LG made last year’s Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, while Motorola made 2014’s Nexus 6. Prior to that we had two solid years of LG-made handsets. Building a Nexus handset does not guarantee BIG sales, but it usually does quite a bit for a company’s brand appeal in the wider mobile space.

LG and Huawei have both benefited from ties to Google’s Nexus problem. Plus, one could argue that HTC’s early success in the Android space — the company used to dominate things back in the day — might have been linked to its close ties to Google and the fact it built the first proper Android smartphone, the G1.

According to reports on March 3, an HTC-made Nexus handset will come equipped with a 3D Touch display – that means a display similar to what is used on the iPhone 6s that is built to respond to different levels of pressure with different types of functionality, so hard presses or soft taps will perform different actions. The word comes via an alleged industry insider on Chinese social network Weibo, who goes as far as saying that this kind of pressure sensitive tech will be built into Android N at the software level – implying that Google wants to encourage Android OEMs to implement the display tech as much as possible. It sounds similar to the way biometric security was adopted en mass and was hardwired into Android itself as a result.

HTC And Google Seal Three Year Nexus Partnership?

Reports circulating on March 9 suggest that HTC may be signed up with Google to partner on the Nexus project for the next three years – the word comes via sources on Weibo, so should be taken somewhat lightly, and the sources also say there will be two Nexus phones in 2016; a 5in model and a 5.5in variant. The big issue here is whether or not the rumours are true of Google wrapping the Nexus project into an internal-only affair, because this latest info would suggest not. The other thing is, having HTC on-board for Nexus devices still seems like a better deal for HTC than it does for Google. The HTC-made Nexus 9 tablet didn’t sell too well, and HTC’s own devices are also floundering.

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