Rumor mill: Huawei working with Google on Nexus phone, Chinese app store

Huawei is working with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to develop a new Nexus-branded smartphone that showcases Google's new Android M software, according to a report from The Information.

The report, citing unnamed sources, said that Google has tapped Huawei to be the first China-based manufacturer of a Nexus phone and potentially a much bigger partner in China as well. According to the report, the two companies are in talks over how Huawei can help Google launch a Chinese Android application storefront.

While Chinese developers have been able to develop and sell apps through the search giant's Google Play app and media store outside of China since late last year, Google Play is basically blocked for Chinese users. In the world's largest smartphone market, Google's services are essentially shut out and third-party application stores from the likes of Qihoo 360, Baidu, Tencent Holdings and Wandoujia offer apps to Chinese consumers.

A Huawei spokeswoman declined to comment.

The report said that Google will help Huawei market forthcoming gadgets like the Huawei Watch in Western markets, and even discussed making it work with the iPhone. Further, designing a Nexus deice could raise Huawei's stature in the U.S. device market, where it plans to keep expanding. Last October Google unveiled the Motorola-made Nexus 6 phablet and the HTC-made Nexus 9 tablet for Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Interestingly, this is not the first time a Huawei-Nexus rumor has popped up, as The Verge notes. IBTimes UK reported on the partnership in June, and Android Police published a rumor in May that indicated there will be Nexus phones this year: a 5.7-inch Huawei device and a 5.2-inch phone from LG Electronics.

For more:
- see this The Information article (sub. req.)
- see this The Verge article
- see this 9to5 Google article

Related articles:
Huawei wants to maintain profitability in smartphones as it preps U.S. expansion
Huawei boosts 2014 profit by 33% thanks to sales of LTE gear and smartphones
Huawei 'giving up' on cheap smartphones, hopes to sell 100M smartphones in 2015 by targeting high end
Google unveils Android 5.0 Lollipop, Nexus 6 phablet and Nexus 9 tablet

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