A report by the Wall Street Journal, citing “people familiar with the matter” claims that HTC has been chosen by Google to build the upcoming Nexus 9 Android tablet. According to the report, HTC engineers have been making frequent visits to the Googleplex to work on the project. While it’s nice that the Wall Street Journal is lending credence to the HTC Nexus 9 rumors (expected to launch on October 16), the report really doesn’t add anything new to the story. The rumors of the high-end Nexus tablet from HTC started back in February and there hasn’t been any evidence to contradict the dozen or so other stories that have been published since then.
HTC jumped into the Android tablet segment before Android was adapted for the form factor. The company struggled, but the failure of the HTC Flyer had more to do with its $499 price tag than anything else. After releasing its second Android tablet, HTC quietly bowed out of the tablet segment, but promised it would step back in when the time was right. Since then, Samsung has taken over the Android tablet segment, but Asus, Acer, LG and Sony have all been able to produce their own line of tablets with varied levels of success.
HTC experienced unprecedented growth when it partnered with Google on the HTC G1, the HTC Magic and the Nexus One, but the tables turned when Google chose Samsung as a partner for its second Nexus device. While Nexus devices have never been huge sellers, the companies who have partnered with Google to build them have always experienced a boost within the market. Being chosen to build a Nexus tablet may be exactly what HTC needs to get back on top.