There are rumors Google will launch, for the first time, two Nexus smartphones this year, one made by LG and the other by Huawei. Why? According to a report published by Business Korea, it’s due to Android Pay — Google’s contactless mobile payment system, which it announced earlier this year.
Quoting anonymous industry sources, the report states that Google has chosen the two companies for their experience in different markets. The LG produced Nexus phone will come with Android Pay installed — and its release is expected to coincide with Android Pay’s rollout — and Google wants to use LG’s success and brand recognition in North America and Europe to help promote the payment system.
Huawei, although known in America and Europe, has far higher recognition in China and Asia. The insider says Google wants Huawei’s assistance to gain more power in China, where many of its services are inaccessible, and custom builds of Android and third-party application stores are common. Android Pay is unlikely to work in China, and therefore a Nexus phone with it as standard probably wouldn’t be sold there.
LG hasn’t made any moves into the mobile payments world just yet, although the spin-off, Korea-only 4G Watch Urbane smartwatch has the facility to provide NFC-based payments. Rival Samsung is in the final stages of producing its own mobile payments system, named Samsung Pay. Logically, that puts Samsung out of the running to make a Nexus phone dedicated to Android Pay, and LG in search of a mobile payments partner of its own.
It’s mentioned that the LG Nexus phone will have a 5-inch display — a rumor we’ve heard before, and making it more likely the phone will be referred to as the Nexus 5 2015 — while Huawei may go for a larger 5.7-inch display. October is being rumored as the release date for the LG phone, and the Huawei device is likely to accompany it.