This year’s supposed HTC-made Nexus devices, codenamed “Marlin” and “Sailfish,” may not have “Nexus” in their names.

Sources to Android Central are instead saying that “Google” will be integral to the branding of the phones. Another integral part to the products is that they will feature special and exclusive software features beyond the set given on Android Nougat.

Completely muddled in all of this is what may or may not be included in the first Maintenance Release of Nougat, — likely to be called Android 7.1 — and what will remain exclusive to the “Marlin” and “Sailfish”. That includes embedded Google Assistant access on the navigation bar and other smaller features that have been previously reported on by Evan Blass, Android Police and other sources.

Rumors of a single Google-manufactured, non-Nexus phone stemmed from a June report from The Telegraph. It is not immediately clear if a device has ever existed and, if it does, if and when it will get a release. It is also not clear what will happen to the “Nexus” branding if this speculation is actuated.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Walt Mossberg during a Code Conference discussion that the company would put “more effort” and “thought” into its Nexus devices. Pichai did not elaborate on any shift in mission for the program, which has essentially served developers with reference hardware that ran nearly stock versions of Android.

With the discussion of new “Nexus-only” features and the continuous discussion about its price tag, Google could be turning ship more towards the end-consumer, potentially posing motivation or a threat to current Android smartphone stablemates like Samsung, Huawei and LG.

In other words, Google may put its own name, alone, in the mobile market for the first time.

Source: Android Central

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