For the last few months, we’ve been hearing that a Huawei built Nexus phone is coming. An IBT source apparently ‘confirmed’ this earlier this month, and even Artem over at Android Police is reasonably convinced the rumour is true. Now, The Information has advised that the Huawei Nexus is definitely a reality and will help Google launch in the hard to crack Chinese market.
Google’s presence in China has been a slippery one, with the company having a history of acceding to and then renegging on search filtering through the ‘Great Firewall of China’. The reluctance to conform has hurt Google’s attempt to crack one of the largest untapped markets on earth, something that their largest rival Apple has begun doing recently.
Huawei as the largest mobile phone maker in China, and indeed the third largest in the world, is well placed to help Google with entering the Chinese market, which could introduce Google services to more than a billion people.
According to The Information, Huawei, as part of the Nexus phone deal, will help to bring a mobile app store to the Chinese market. Non-Google Android devices proliferate in China, with companies such as Xiaomi gaining a large market share in the country with handsets running their MiUI Android OS without any Google services, a problem for Google as Android devices without Google services makes them no money, negating the benefit of Android. A partnership with Huawei could solve this problem.
The partnership would be two-way though, with Google helping Huawei further their success in western markets. Huawei has at this stage still made no announcements regarding the availability of their Android Wear ‘Watch’ announced at Mobile World Congress. Rumours surrounding issues with getting Android Wear to work with the watch have abounded and it’s here Google will be helping. It’s also probable that Google will be helping to get Android Wear devices working on iOS devices, a market which is growing in China and a huge potential source of revenue if done correctly.
At this stage, there’s obviously no solid information. We know that Google is planning on releasing Android M in ‘the fall’ and as usual will release a Nexus reference device (or devices if rumours of a second LG built Nexus phone are true) released alongside the platform update, as to whether it’s a Huawei built device, we’ll have to wait and see.