LG is an Android smartphone OEM that, like many others, finds itself in the shadow of Samsung. But it scored an impressive hit with the Nexus 4, the $300 unlocked Google-branded Android reference phone it released last year, and according to the Korea Times, it’s already working on a follow-up with the search giant.
The new report claims that LG is working on a new Nexus-branded smartphone, and that LG also wants to add to its existing partnership with Google for TV products, and would like to be closely involved in future developments like Google Glass. LG clearly sees the value of being closely associated with Google, as it managed to pull into third place in the global smartphone race in Q1 2013 according to IDC and Juniper.
LG’s Optimus G and the Nexus 4 helped it gain some ground in the smartphone war, although it still trails far behind Samsung and Apple, who hold 32.7 percent and 17.3 percent of the global market respectively, compared to LG’s 4.8 percent. Recent estimates have put sales of both the Optimus G and the Nexus 4 at somewhere north of 1 million, which, while once again trailing devices by Samsung and Apple, are impressive enough. Especially in the case of the Nexus 4, LG proved that it could make a strong seller out of a line that usually has more limited consumer appeal.
In the past, we’ve seen reports that an LG Nexus 5 was in the works, with the code name “Megalodon.” This isn’t just an upgraded version based on the LG Optimus G Pro, but a truly new device with a very powerful quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor on board. Recent rumors indicate we might see a Nexus 4 variant at Google I/O in two weeks, with a 32GB storage option and both LTE and CDMA cellular wireless bands on board. The current Nexus 4 maxes out at HSPA+, but it does have an LTE-capable radio, early hacks revealed.
There’s very little downside to LG building a new Nexus device, and Google might be more inclined to let them, given the success of the last one. It’s possible we’ll hear more about this at I/O, but given that the Nexus 4 only arrived late last year, we might have to wait a little longer, too.