Apple iPhone 6 v HTC One A9_4

Looks like HTC and Google are headed for a long-term partnership. According to reports, both the companies have entered into a three year deal for building Google’s Nexus smartphones. The new reports come amid rumors that HTC will be launching two Nexus smartphones later this year.

Google has flip-flopped between hardware partners over the years for its Nexus devices. It tied up with LG for Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 5x, while it teamed up with Motorola for the Nexus 6 and Huawei Nexus 6P. It may be recalled that LG had confirmed it was not going to build Nexus smartphones this year as it aimed to focus on its own range of devices. At MWC 2016, LG showed the intent as well with unique modular smartphone, LG G5, and a new range of companion devices.The rumored three year partnership between HTC and Google, however, has come as a surprise. It may be recalled that Google has been looking to have greater control on the hardware, and even reported to be developing own processors and in house designed devices on the lines of Apple’s strategy for iPhones. But hardware partners have reportedly shown reluctance towards Google’s efforts to have majority of the control, and is believed to be one of the reasons why LG backed out of the Nexus program. If true, the partnership also means Huawei is highly unlikely to be associated with the Nexus project any time sooner.

According to rumors, HTC will be launching two Nexus smartphones with 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch displays. Rumors further suggest the smartphones will sport pressure sensitive display akin to the ‘3D Touch’ display on Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

It is important to note that these are rumors thus far, and that HTC and Google haven’t yet confirmed or refuted it. As Google I/O 2016 approaches, we are most likely to have more credible information. The developer conference will be held in May this year.

HTC has been struggling with its smartphone business showing no signs of recovering and the Taiwanese hardware manufacturer posting its worst ever earnings results. Could it mean HTC is going back to its OEM days?