Apr 18 AT 4:44 PM Dima Aryeh 17 Comments

Google may be creating a sub-$100 Nexus phone using MediaTek processors


The Nexus line of devices have long moved on from their original purpose. The Nexus One proved what can be done with high end hardware and stock Android, basically serving as guidelines for other Android manufacturers. The Nexus S also had some amazing hardware, introducing a more refined version of Android. But from there, hardware being the highest end possible lost focus. The Nexus line was now more of a developer phone.

As time went on, that tagline also wore off. The new Nexus devices are cheaper, off contract alternatives showing off true, stock Android (now that it’s in a usable form, unlike pre-ICS). So why do the Nexus devices have to be powerful? Well, if this rumor is true, they won’t exclusively be this high end for long.

The latest rumor claims that Google will be creating a new Nexus device that will cost the customers under $100. It seems insane, but it’s really not that unlikely. To meet this goal, Google will be using MediaTek for the processor.

The Moto G uses a Qualcomm processor and costs $180, still making Motorola a profit. But Xiaomi can make the Hongmi for $85 using a quad core MediaTek processor, price it at $130, and still earn a profit. Google can easily pull off a $100 smartphone with some impressive hardware if the company sells the device at cost.

Not only would this be good for Google and consumers, it would be an excellent way for MediaTek to gain reputation in the United States. Whenever we hear about MediaTek, many of us think of them as a “budget” processor maker. But low cost doesn’t always mean low power, and a cheap Google smartphone could prove that and benefit MediaTek greatly.

Now for some speculation. Considering the substantial relationship Lenovo has with MediaTek, and Motorola being the perfect way to enter the US market, it would seem logical that Lenovo would have Motorola build this Nexus device. Plus, with Motorola’s expertise at building awesome budget smartphones, it would be the perfect choice.

I actually think it would be a pretty good idea for Google to venture into the budget smartphone market with the Nexus line, as the line no longer needs to stay high end. Plus, it would further push the market in a more positive direction. What do you guys think of a sub-$100 Nexus smartphone powered by a MediaTek processor? Tell us in the comments!

Via: Pocket Now

Source: MTKSJ (translated)

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • gu1dry

    The problem with MediaTek is their complete unwillingness to provide good clean kernel source. Their kernel source (which is only released by select few OEMs & not from them directly) contains a lot of hack jobs. But if Google where to accept a MediaTek device into the Nexus brand, this may jump-start the correcting of MediaTek’s bad habits & they may start provided good, clean kernel sources.

  • Max

    MediaTek, keep your filthy closed-sourced hands away from the Nexus devices. No one wants your crappy processors.

  • donger

    It’ll be alright.

  • www.phonewbie.com

    II’ll stick with the sub $400 Nexus

  • redraider133

    I like the cheaper handsets but wonder how long until the devices, even running stock start showing performance degradation? I feel like the race to the bottom will end up hindering the user experience, especially in the long run. Maybe I’m wrong, guess we will see once something gets released

  • Stacey Meevis

    I think it’s a great idea. Shows that Google is by the people, for the people. A lot of consumers don’t have the money for a pricier phone. And many don’t want to begin a contract just to get a phone for $0. I have my Nexus 4 and I stand by Google, I feel like they’re a very giving and understanding company.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    I will see it when I believe it — reason? I just don’t see Google’s interest in creating a device that appeals to the mass market. Google itself has repeated many times that the Nexus is a developer line. Traditional marketing is next to non-existent. Outside of the Android enthusiasts, almost no one knows about the Nexus, especially the Nexus phones (the Nexus 7 is probably the most widely known, and is an exception.) Whenever I told a friend of mine, who is looking for an off-contract phone, that he/she can buy a top-tier smartphone for sub-400, made by a well-known manufacturer, their facial expression can win the Oscar. What would a sub-$100 phone buys Google, if the Nexus is only meant for developer? Sure, it can attract developers who have less money in their pocket, but it surely will alienate those who wants a higher end smartphone for their needs outside of development. Is Google ready to make 2 Nexus phones, then? I find it very unlikely, especially when the target audience is already a niche.

    • Tuan Anh

      Agree. Most of end users just know about OEMs making phone. They are almost blinded from Google steps. Example, it was the truth that Nexus 4, 5 sold out just few days after the released date. But surly most of customers are ones who always read Android news.

    • simon

      I feel Google isn’t being entirely forthcoming there. If the Nexus line is truly a developer product group, they wouldn’t bother with offline sales distribution through resellers and carriers. On the contrary Google has been expanding their presence over the years.

      The main goal for Google in the long run would be to experiment and find out how they can democratize the phone market and make the phones affordable to everyone. Right now, phones are still too expensive and carriers charge too much to make Google’s dream come true. This means everyone involved will be making little money, except Google and possibly a few component, both hardware and software, vendors who end up surviving, and that’s the logical end game if it all works out to Google’s benefit.

      To be fair this business strategy is nothing new. Microsoft and Intel have been doing the exact same thing for decades and made out like bandits. PC makers are now mostly commodity producers competing on paper thin margins pushing out products made as cheaply as possible for the masses.

    • redraider133

      It stopped being developer only when they began selling them in carrier stores.

    • Jr

      “Google itself has repeated many times that the Nexus is a developer line.”

      Citation needed.

  • Siku

    What would a $100 nexus phone get for Google? What do you think Google make their money on, yes its pushing people through their services to earn advertising $$. The more affordable the larger the audience the more they can make.
    So even if this isnt the model that sells by the millions as they don’t make enough etc it sets a usable standard for other handset manuf to follow and demonstrates a respectable performance for $100.
    I hope they go for it and that its a success, there are a lot of people who don’t want to / cant afford to spend hundreds of $ every year to keep apace with.. a phone.

  • masterpfa

    As these are the only devices I seriously consider purchasing, I am more than happy with my ‘High End’ Nexus devices, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4 and Nexus 5. Google please continue UNLESS they aim to release these alongside the usual Nexus phones.

    As the only choice, HELL NO

  • BlazeHN

    To read “Google, Nexus, Sub $100, Mediatek, Quad Core, Moto, Lenovo, USA” on a same article/new is REALLY exciting! :)

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  • Odie

    As long as they still offer a higher end Nexus phone, I’m ok with spreading the love. I don’t see why it would have to be a this or that offering.

    I went from the Nexus One to the Nexus 4, and only because the One finally died; if the hardware is high end at launch, I can avoid upgrading for at least two years.

  • BigDady

    Not really happy if this comes to fruition people want high end hardware at a reasonable price pure vanilla android without tons of bloatware and to be abandoned after buying a flagship to get screwed on os updates the only way I could get behind this is if they did both a budget line and the nexus line that many have come to know and love.