HTC is building a Tegra K1-powered Google Nexus 9 tablet, reports reveal

It looks like Google is almost ready with its next batch of Nexus devices as reports point out the imminent arrival of a HTC-built tablet and Motorola-built phones.


After the massive frenzy created by Apple post the iPhone launch, we can expect Google to take centre-stage in October, just like it has been doing in the past. This is the time, when the Nexus 5 and Nexus 4 were announced, so we can speculate that Google has found its groove for Nexus launches every year.


And rumours about an HTC-built Nexus 9 have been swirling for months now. More reports have added to the speculation that Google is working with the Taiwanese company to release the follow-up to the Nexus 7. Wall Street Journal says "HTC engineers have been flying to the Googleplex in Mountain View in recent months to work on the project," while The Verge also confirmed through its sources about the Nexus 9. 


The Nexus 9 is all but confirmed to feature a Nvidia Tegra K1 processor that comes with 64-bit support and with Android L running the show, it will be able to make full use of the architecture. Some of the leaked reports claim that the Nexus 9 could sport an 8.9-inch display with a resolution of 2048 x 1440 pixels. It’s also expected to come with 2GB RAM, 16 and 32GB storage options, an 8MP OIS main camera and a souped-up 3MP front facing camera.


Interestingly, this will be the first tablet from HTC after the ill-fated Flyer and a return to the Nexus fold for the company which kick-started the programme with the Nexus One. HTC has always been a fan favourite when it comes to speculation on which OEM will produce the next Nexus device and Google is finally listening to the clamour. The company’s trademark attention to detail and premium build quality are expected to take the Nexus 9 to an altogether more premium place than the Nexus 7.


Leaks claim the Nexus 9 will come with a starting price of $399 (approx Rs 24,000) for the 16GB version and the 32GB variant will cost $499 (approximately Rs 30,000). The LTE-enabled variant of the tablet would be made available at $600 (Rs 36,400).


While the Nexus 9 tablet is more or less confirmed, there has been a lot of confusion over whether a Nexus smartphone will come. If it does, we can expect it to be made by Motorola, as leaked benchmarks have shown. However, it’s still unclear whether the Nexus 6 (aka Nexus X aka Motorola Shamu) will indeed arrive at the same time as the tablet.


In our opinion, it would be folly for Google to ignore the smartphone market with the latest Nexus refresh. Considering that Apple launched two new iPhones, we expect Google to have at least one new smartphone under the Nexus line-up in 2014. Indeed, rumours have said that Google may be planning a triple whammy with two new Nexus smartphones with 5.2-inch and 5.9-inch displays, alongside the Nexus 9.


Whatever the final line-up is HTC could be in for a reversal in fortunes after struggling for the past two years in the smartphone market. As was seen with the maker of the previous Nexus tablet, Asus, tablet revenue and market share skyrocketed post the Google deal and Asus has been a top-five tablet vendor in the past couple of years, thanks to the Nexus 7. HTC could reap the same benefits from the Nexus 9, so it will be a pivotal product for the Taiwanese company.

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