Google appears to be taking a leaf out of Apple’s book in designing its next flagship smartphone. The Mountain View company may launch the next Nexus phone in two sizes, just like Apple’s latest iPhone model, BGR reports.
In 2014, the iPhone model was released in two sizes for the first time: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It has been wildly successful, gifting Apple the most profitable quarter of any company ever at the end of 2014.
In contrast, Google’s Nexus line of smartphones has always seen comparatively low sales, despite positive reviews and popularity among Android enthusiasts. The vast majority of smartphones shipped with Android are produced by third-party manufacturers, with no input from Google. The Nexus line is different because it’s built by a third-party manufacturer, but to Google’s exact specifications.
Now, for the first time, the newest Nexus model will reportedly come into two different versions, with one built by LG and the other by Huawei, according to BGR.
BGR cites a post by Russian tech blogger Artem Russakovskii (who runs Android Police) on Google+, whose sources have “mentioned a second Nexus phone this year.”
The Huawei Nexus is expected to have a 5.7 inch screen, with the LG Nexus clocking in smaller, at 5.2 inches. (For comparison, the iPhone 6 comes in 4.7 and 5.5 inch sizes.)
Russakovskii cautions:”Early rumours are early rumours, don’t treat them as facts.”
Even still, offering a smaller size does make sense to appeal to those who want a Nexus device, but are put-off by the large (6-inch) screen size of the current Nexus 6. And at the same time, Google is unlikely to want to abandon the phablet market, as large-screened phones become more and more popular.
Data from Kantar Wordpanel says that phablets were 21% of all American smartphone sales in Q1 2015 — up from just 6% a year before.
There’s no word on a release date, but if it follows the precedent set by previous Nexus phones, the device(s) will drop in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Meanwhile, smartphone sales in key markets like China are beginning to slow and Apple is focusing on “switchers,” or persuading people to make the jump from Android to iOS. It seems to be working, with Kantar data showing Apple is taking unprecedented market share in developed countries.
More than ever, Google needs a phone that can go toe-to-toe with the iPhone, even if that means following Apple’s example.