The Nexus 9 tablet has been unofficially confirmed by a solid source, along with news that HTC has the job of building the slate, and that it’ll be announced in the near future. The information comes from chip manufacturer Nvidia, and was discovered in a set of court documents, which are being used in an ongoing legal battle between it, Qualcomm, and Samsung.
The document talks up the benefits of Nvidia’s Tegra K1 mobile processor, and after listing several other devices using the chip, closes with the statement “The HTC Nexus 9, expected in the third quarter of 2014, is also expected to use the Tegra K1.” In terms of credibility, this is about as good as it gets, but the wording still keeps the situation open enough for things to change.
It’s the repeated use of the word “expected,” that’s the problem. It’s not certain the tablet will arrive before the end of September, and it’s not certain a Tegra K1 chip will be inside either. However, the document does at least confirm the Nexus 9 exists, and that provided everything goes well, it’ll be out before the end of the year.
We’ve been hearing about an HTC-produced Nexus 9 tablet for some time, and recently a rumor talked about Nvidia power too; so at the very least, we know there is some truth to all this. Codename Volantis (or Flounder), the Nexus 9 will mark a return to the tablet arena for HTC, in which it has only dabbled, with partial success, in the past.
If there’s one thing holding the Nexus 9 up, and could explain the whole “expected” phrasing, it’s the release of Android L. Google will presumably use the new tablet to showcase its overhauled version of Android; but for it to do that, the software needs to be finished first. There’s no release date, and the OS is still in the hands of developers, so we may need to have patience. A pre-October announcement does sound optimistic for the Nexus 9.