Google may be partnering with Chinese smartphone maker Huawei for its next Nexus phone, according to analyst Kevin Yang, iSuppli’s director of research (via CNET).
Yang wrote on Chinese social network Weibo that Google had chosen Huawei as its hardware partner, according to tech site GizmoChina.
This would be a first for Google — in the past, the company has partnered smartphone manufacturers that have a presence in the United States such as Samsung, LG and Motorola.
Huawei is the second-largest smartphone maker in China, but it only holds less than 1% of the US smartphone market, according to Reuters. But the company may be making some moves to change that.
Huawei is reportedly planning to bring a bunch of its flagship products, including wearables and smartphones like the iPhone 6-look-a-like Honour 6 Plus to the US this year, Reuters reports. A partnership with Google would obviously benefit Huawei on that front.
Huawei also told The Verge in an interview that its phones sold in the US will come with a stock version of Android. Google’s Nexus devices are the only phones that come with the clean, bloatware-free edition of Android. The Verge’s story also says Huawei is “leaning on Google” to break into the US smartphone market, which also hints that it could be Google’s next big Nexus partner.
If true, the move would comes more than two years after the US government released a report saying Huawei and Chinese phone maker ZTE posed a national security risk. The two companies, according to the report, failed to provide documents that detail their relationship with Chinese authorities, according to The New York Times. About a year later, Huawei came out and said publicly that the government has never asked for access to its technology or data on its users.
Google is likely to unveil its next Nexus phone around October, which would mark about one year following the release of the Nexus 6.
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