Google May Have Tapped Motorola For A New Nexus Phone And Asus For An Updated Nexus 10

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Google and its partners have been awfully busy with hardware launches these past few weeks — there was the new Nexus 7, the curious Chromecast, and the Moto X — but they’re not done just yet. A new spate of rumors has just begun to make the rounds, and if they’re to be believed we’ll see some shiny new Nexus hardware before the end of the year.

Got your grains of salt ready? Good.

The Nexus 7 just got a refresh, but what of its slightly-chubbier brother the Nexus 10? A new report from Geek.com’s Russell Holly asserts that a new version of the Nexus 10 is indeed barreling down the pipeline, but it may not be made by the company you were expecting. While the original model was pieced together by Samsung (who Google previously worked with on the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus smartphones), the search may have left the refresh in the hands of its friends at Asus.

It always seemed a little odd that Google would split assembly duties for Nexus tablets between two OEMs, and Google may finally be tackling that production conundrum. Samsung’s Nexus 10 was an impressive piece of kit (especially that display), but considering the sort of success that Asus’ tiny tabs have seen it’s little surprise to hear that Google may want to consolidate its tablet operations with the Taiwan OEM.

Meanwhile, AndroidAndMe founder Taylor Wimberly — who delivered some early on the device that would eventually become the Moto X — cryptically hinted on Google+ last night that Motorola would “build a Nexus smartphone in Q4″. Slapping some different branding on the (already very clean) Moto X would be a trivial matter, but Wimberly asserts that Motorola is going to push out an entirely new smartphone rather than give an older one a bit of a facelift. I know what you’re thinking: it was only a matter of time before Motorola, a company that Google spent an astonishing $12 billion to acquire last year, finally turned to churning out hardware under the Nexus banner.

The really interesting thing to note here is the sheer number of reports claiming that LG may be working on a new Nexus device based on its G2 smartphone. There was a bit of confusion there for a while when LG Europe VP Kim Won made some seriously ambiguous remarks about the company’s relationship with Google, but that hasn’t stopped persistent rumors of an LG-made Nexus phone from circulating around the geekier parts of the web.

If we stick to the conventional logic of Google’s Nexus line, then only one of these companies will get to make the next Nexus smartphone. What I’d really love to see though is Google bifurcating the Nexus phone line the same way it did with Nexus tablets — LG’s Nexus is rumored to come with a pretty beefy spec sheet (and a price tag to match), and Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside has said on multiple occasions that he wants to try and improve the experience that comes with owning a low-cost device. At this point only Google and its hardware comrades really know what’s happening behind closed doors, but there are worse things to consider than the sort of two-pronged mobile approach that LG and Motorola could provide.