Google appears to be done with the seven-inch form factor on tablets and is looking to get away from the phablet territory with a larger 8.9-inch Nexus device.
This is not the first time we have heard about an 8-inch Nexus tablet, rumors have been circulating for the past few months on Google bumping up the screen space on its smaller tablet. This is the first time we have heard about an 8.9-inch display though, matching Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.
An 8.9-inch display does contradict previous rumors, pointing to a 8-inch device, around the same size as the iPad Mini or Galaxy Note 8. The report says Google will go for the 8.9-inch display to offer a premium device at a premium price.
The manufacturer of this new 8.9-inch Nexus tablet will be HTC. This will be the first time HTC has worked on a Nexus tablet, after dropping out the tablet market in 2011, when the HTC Flyer failed to gain any traction.
We are not sure why Google will decide to go with HTC over ASUS, their partner for the past two years. It may be due to the lack of sales on the 2013 Nexus 7, resulting in Google looking for new manufacturers to partner.
The report says Google will try to sell the Nexus 8.9 at a more premium price, differing from the Nexus 7. This could mean the Nexus 10 will never be updated, considering the small size difference.
Internally the Nexus 8.9 should be a beast, running a quad-core Snapdragon processor, 3GB of RAM and a 1080p display. We may see a premium metal build come from HTC to match with their smartphones.
Google I/O will most likely be the event where the Nexus 8.9 is announced, unless Google holds another event before June. The company likes to launch their Nexus products when unveiling a new update to Android and I/O is as good a bet as any.