It’s that time of year, now is generally when rumours surrounding the next Nexus smartphone, which is generally released every year in October/November each year, start heating up. This years rumour has already seen a hint that LG will be tipped to make the Nexus phone for the third year in a row, but now a new rumour out of China is saying that Google is looking to bring a sub-US$100 Nexus phone to market.
While the Nexus line of phones is considered cheap, while still including fairly high-end hardware, apparently Google is going to look at a completely budget Nexus phone which includes budget hardware. The super cheap phone would require the use of cheaper parts and chip manufacturer MediaTek could be the ones to give them the heart of the phone.
MediaTek has created some waves last year by delivering the worlds first true Octa-Core mobile chip in the 28nm MT6592. The MT6592 showed impressive results compared to the Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 in benchmarks. Using a Heterogeneous Multi-Processing model from ARMs BIG.little architecture, it used eight cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.7 to 2GHz. So, they have the hardware, and they seem to be able to deliver on price.
But the question is, will Google partner with MediaTek to produce a Nexus phone? A recent story on XDA-Developers pointed out some worrying practices that MediaTek have surrounding the distribution of source code for devices running MediaTek hardware. Apparently MediaTek are asking for a fee from developers to access said source code. A practice that Open-source advocate Google will surely frown upon.
The idea of a cost effective smartphone for emerging markets was what the Motorola Moto G was created for, back when Motorola was still a Google Company. Indeed, the concept of an even cheaper version of the Moto G was discussed by CEO Dennis Woodside last year in an interview, where he said he envisaged Motorola could eventually create a sub-US$50 smartphone. Whether soon-to-be Motorola owner Lenovo, chooses to pursue this goal or whether this was a Google goal which is now coming through in their Nexus line post-Motorola sale, remains to be seen.
The Nexus line is already ‘cheap’ price wise anyway, while still retaining excellent build quality and using high end materials. Whether Google wishes to brave a world where the Nexus line is associated with cheap components, build quality and overall ‘cheapness’ is uncertain, but I certainly hope they don’t.
Would a super cheap Nexus phone appeal to you?