Nexus 6 rumors started when word leaked from Taylor Wimberly that Morotorola was working on a new Nexus device that was not the Moto X Google Play Edition. These rumors led some to speculate that Motorola was either working on the Nexus 5 or Nexus 4 2nd generation refresh. Either of these could be possible option. However, with word that Asus, not Samsung, would be producing the Nexus 10 2nd generation refresh we speculated that perhaps Motorola could be working on something entirely different, a Nexus 6 phablet.
Nexus 6 rumors began months ago, there were rumors that Samsung would be developing a Nexus 6 and even concept art envision what a Samsung Nexus 6 might look like. We mentioned earlier that right now there is a Nexus phone, a Nexus 7-inch tablet and a larger Nexus 10-inch tablet. The Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 are not large enough to serve as a Nexus tablet. At the time people realized that what the rumors were referring to was actually the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The rumored specs of the Samsung Nexus 6 back then were:
"Samsung Nexus 6 uses a 6.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus Full HD screen, the likes of which is rumored to be used on the future Note. There's also an Exynos 5 Octa CPU, probably with big.LITTLE technology, 3 GB of RAM, also a likely feature of the Note III and 128 GB of storage, plus microSDXC. At the back we've got a 13 megapixel camera and upfront a 2 megapixel one, both with Full HD capture. Finally, this device relies on a 4500 mAh battery and measures 9 mm in thickness, certainly a reasonable waistline, considering there are some 4.5 inch phones out there that are much thicker."
There is also concept art for the Nexus 6 created by Erica Yusim:
Of course this was outrageously unrealistic for a Nexus device which is expected to be affordable. The Nexus 6 rumors get particularly outlandish with rumors of running an Android 6.0 "Milkshake", something which hasn't been mentioned in any substantive leaks, particularly not with Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie even out yet. The Nexus 6 rumors are in fact more similar to what the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 boasts in specs:
-Display: 5.68-inch Full HD SuperAMOLED
-Chipset: Exynos 5 Octa 5420 CPU at 1.8GHz with Mali-T628 MP6 GPU (3G version only, chipset for 4G version unknown)
-RAM: 3GB (4G version)
-Camera: 13-megapixel with Optical Image Stabilization
-Storage: 16/32/64GB + microSD
-OS: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
It seems unlikely that Samsung is interested in producing a Nexus smartphone when it has devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch and two new tablets coming out during IFA Berlin 2013. Samsung also will certainly be saving it's new technology and higher-end specs for the prospective Samsung Galaxy S5 (assuming it chooses to retain the numbering system). Motorola is the best candidate to produce a Nexus 6:
Motorola is another pick for the next Nexus manufacturer, especially after Google's acquisition of the company. There are already many rumors and leaks about the Motorola X (or Moto X) phone collaboration with Google, and initially when this device first leaked many people wondered if indeed this would turn out to be the Nexus 5. However, that idea was soon dispelled, but as Motorola seems to be focusing on the Motorola X at the moment it seems less likely that it will also be producing the Nexus 5.
The most likely candidate for developing a 6-inch Nexus 6 phablet is Motorola. We already have confirmation that they are working on a Nexus device. Since Google doesn't seem to be inclined to expand the size of the Nexus line currently and is instead more focused on upgrade we can expect LG to be carrying out the Nexus 4 2 refresh and later the Nexus 5. We can at least partially base this on the fact that Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie which is expected to come out in October has been seen running on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 2:
The build versions of Gingerbread started with G, and latest updates like Android 4.3 Jelly Bean started with J (like JWR66V and JSS15J) latest information has revealed a set of devices running Android version KRS36B, with the K being the important part here. This is the next version of Android, which is rumored to bring some major design overhauls into our world.
The 6-inch Nexus 6 phablet, with it's own new designation, will be created by Motorola to provide an affordable stock Android alternative to devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One Max and Sony Xperia Z Ultra. The phablet market is an untapped for Google and could make a lot of financial sense by filling the gap in between the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 with a good-sized phablet.
Overall, we feel that the Nexus 6 would be an interesting product for Google to approve for the Nexus line and it would likely be a financially successful option. It would also justify Google's investment into Motorola after mixed reactions to the Moto X.
If we accept that there will be an upgraded Nexus 4 2 and Nexus 10 2 to complement the Nexus 7 2, then Google will not have released any completely new Nexus device since 2012. Google feels overdue for adding something to the Nexus line and a Nexus 6 phablet would be a good fit.
Do you think there will be a Nexus 6 phablet developed by Motorola or Samsung?