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Huawei reportedly ‘doing the Nexus again this year,’ corroborating 2016 Nexus 6P rumors


The rumor mill has all but confirmed that HTC is making the next two Nexus phones (which, as we told you yesterday, will be more influenced by Google), but sketchy rumors suggesting Huawei is planning a reboot of its Nexus 6P have today become a lot less sketchy. Previously, all we saw was a benchmark of a 2016 Nexus 6P with 4GB of RAM and — purportedly — a Snapdragon 820, but now we have a statement from the Chinese company itself…

According to GearBurn, Charlene Munilall, general manager for Huawei’s Consumer Business Group in South Africa, had this to say at the launch of the P9, P9 Plus and P9 Lite in South Africa on Thursday night (emphasis ours):

The Nexus product is a very niche product… the techies love it but there’s a very small number of people that buy it. Hence Cellucity only brought 300… into the country. The operators generally don’t take up the Nexus device. That said, the distributors, our open market, do bring in the device, that’s how Cellucity got it… and that will still be the same this year. We’re doing the Nexus again this year, by the way…

It may seem strange at first, but maybe it makes some sense. The Nexus 6P is widely regarded as the best Nexus ever, and Google surely wants to keep working with Huawei if it can. In fact, I heard last year that the company initially intended for Huawei to be the big Nexus partner going forward. As I posited yesterday, a big reason that Google eventually went with HTC this year was so that it could have more control over the design of the phones.

But if the phone happens, what will it be like? The strange device surfaced in Geekbench benchmarks on April 8, and while it was still labeled a “google Nexus 6P”, its results were drastically different from an actual “Huawei Nexus 6P” on Geekbench. The processor scores are more in line with that of a Snapdragon 820 rather than the 810. Additionally, it has 4GB of RAM instead of 3GB. This device’s motherboard is named Marlin and already running Android N.

Google declined to comment on the situation, and Huawei has yet to get back to us.

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Avatar for Stephen Hall Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.