Rumors have long suggested that the upcoming smartphone by Google Inc. should be apart of the Nexus line, should have a 5.9-inch display and should release in October. Three sources have told the Wall Street Journal that the rumors are accurate.
Though Google has been tightlipped about its plans, the company is known for not giving much detail about its devices prior to launch. In 2013, Google announced its Nexus 5 smartphone by simply putting it on sale on the Google Play Store in lieu of a press event. But several details about the upcoming device, which may be called the Nexus 6, have surfaced in recent months.
The sources say that Google is in fact working with its old subsidiary Motorola on the Nexus 6 and that the device is so large that Google has given it the internal codename “Shamu.” The Nexus 6 would be Google’s introduction into the phablet market, similar to Apple Inc., which launched the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus in September. Samsung is also in the process of launching its fourth phablet, the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4, which is apart of the line that made extra-large smartphones popular. The phablet market is a rapidly growing one, currently making up 24 percent of the market, when they were just 1 percent of the market in 2011, according to consultants Strategy Analytics.
“If Android doesn’t have something at that size there will be a hole in their portfolio,” Ankit Jain, CEO and founder of mobile start-up Quettra told the WSJ. Ankit is also a former executive at Google Play, the Android app store. He notes that Google may be looking to release a Phablet now in order to avoid the error that Apple made in shying away from the large-screen device market.
Many manufacturers, Google in particular, are now developing emerging markets and their special needs. In particular, consumers in these markets may favor large phones because they can use them in lieu of desktop computers or laptops, according to Neil Mawston, a mobile-industry analyst at Strategy Analytics. Phablets also appeal to consumers in wealthier markets as status symbols; a large phone to go along with their large house and larger car.
A recent benchmark by Geekbench claims to confirm long rumored specifications of the Nexus 6, including a QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution display and 2.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, coupled with 3GB of RAM, and a 3200mAh battery. The benchmark determined that the Nexus 6 outperforms the iPhone 6, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S5, and HTC One M8 in processing power and speed. Other possible proof of the impending release of the Nexus 6 is a recent Federal Communications Commission filing that approves a 5.9-inch device for LTE, GSM and CDMA support on mobile networks. Last week, an unknown large-screen device was spotted in public, which is believed to be the Nexus 6.