Time was, Samsung was very much Google’s favourite son, with the South Koreans churning out the Google Nexus S and Samsung Galaxy Nexus back-to-back in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
But with Google adopting a phone/small tablet/large tablet formation as of last year, there’s lots of Mountain View-flavoured affection to go around, the question being: who’s next for Nexus loving?
In October 2012, Team Android unveiled the Google Nexus 4 by LG, the Asus-built Google Nexus 7, and finally Samsung’s Google Nexus 10.
However, despite the success of the first two (the Google Nexus 10 tablet didn’t sell too well), putting certain rumours together we could see none of those manufacturers reprising their roles. Zuh?
Let’s break this ship down by device, shall we?
Google Nexus 5
Let’s not dwell on the name too much; the Google Nexus 4 (right) had a 4.7in display, and the next Nexus smartphone mightn’t necessarily have a 5in display.
In any case, what we really want to know is: who the hell’s making it?
Candidate 1: LG. With the Google Nexus 4 proving hugely popular (largely on account of its wallet-friendly price), it stands to reason that LG should get the coveted contract again.
If that is indeed the case, it’s likely that the recently announced LG G2 would morph into the Google Nexus 5, much like the LG Optimus G did the Google Nexus 4.
Candidate 2: Motorola. The other logical choice for the Google Nexus 5 is Motorola, having recently been acquired by Google. However, there are two schools of thought here.
In the case for Motorola, well, it’s now owned by Google, and the US manufacturer could seriously use the boost that tends to come with Nexus affiliation.
On the nay side, it’s suggested that choosing Motorola would be seen as blind, self-serving nepotism on Google’s part, irking the other Android manufacturers and sending the mobile world into chaos. That’d be quite nice, actually; mix things up a little.
Clicking the blue words above, you’ll see Taylor Wimberly purring: “Motorola will release a Nexus smartphone in Q4 (that is not the Moto X).”
Taylor correctly predicted a bunch of stuff about the Moto X, but would another flagship device from Motorola make sense at this stage? If it’s more appealing than the Moto X, it could be potentially upsetting. Hmm.
Google Nexus 7
Candidate 1: Asus. Google and Taiwanese manufacturer Asus seem pretty tight, what with the Google Nexus 7 first and - on the left - second generation, and Asus generally working hard to secure the latest version of Android for its flagships.
Both Google Nexus 7 tablets have been well received, and there’s not really any reason to doubt that Asus will be kept on in the 7in category. However…
Candidate 2: LG. Just one week after the launch of the new Google Nexus 7 (the thing isn’t even out over here yet), analyst Ming-Chi-Kuo proposed that Asus’ days of making the ‘tweener tablet were almost over.
Specifically, because Team Mountain View will look to LG to make the third generation Google Nexus 7 in 2014, on account of a little division called LG Display.
Oddly, there was an LG Google Nexus 7.7 rumoured for Google I/O in May, but clearly that didn’t happen.
Google Nexus 10
Candidate 1: Samsung. The Samsung-built Google Nexus 10 (right) didn’t exactly set the world on fire, despite the mostly-impressive spec sheet. Do we blame the price? The massive bezel?
Regardless, it kinda makes sense to soldier on with Samsung – it being the world’s top mobile manufacturer ‘n’ all. And heck, Google's Sundar Pichai reportedly said as much back in July.
Or maybe the South Koreans don’t need it? It’s not like there’s any shortage of bucks, what with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the imminent Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Candidate 2: Asus. Coming hot on the heels of those no-longer-making-the-Nexus-7 rumours, it was proposed that Asus might pick up the Google Nexus 10 baton from Samsung.
We can’t see this happening if Asus keeps the Nexus 7; two out of three devices screams favouritism. But then again, I’ve just been rambling on about LG possibly making the Nexus 7 next year, so who knows?