There was nary a mention of the next-gen Nexus 5 at Google’s recent I/O event.
Instead, the hardware focus was on the so-called Google Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4, which packs a vanilla version of Android.
And now, despite recent rumours about LG beavering away alongside Google on a successor on the current, wallet-friendly Nexus 4, the Korean tech titan says it’s not working on the forthcoming Nexus.
In an interview with All About Phones following the launch of a new white version of the Nexus 4, LG’s European mobile chief Kim Won confirmed the news.
“The Nexus 4 was a great success despite the production problems for us and Google. However we do not need such a marketing success again,” he said.
The ‘production problems’ to which Kim refers were well documented when the Nexus 4 hit Google’s Play Store last December.
And according to Google, they were very much LG’s fault.
Writing on Google+ at the time, the Big G’s UK and Ireland MD, Dan Cobley, described supplies from LG as “scarce and erratic”.
This was later slapped down by LG’s PR boss in France, who said that lengthy delivery times were down to Google.
However, after critical success and apparently strong sales, it seems odd that LG thinks it doesn’t need Google’s help.
After all, we’re talking about a firm that lags behind in the smartphone stakes, with 3.7 per cent share according to latest Gartner statistics.
Its smartphone sales were up to more than 10 million in the first quarter of this year, but the Nexus 4 must surely account for a huge chunk of that.
It all makes it somewhat unbelievable that LG has decided to walk away from its relationship with Google.
Surely it would want to stay cosied up to the people behind the world’s most popular mobile OS?
More likely is that Google has seen what a shambles the first two months of the Nexus 4’s lifespan were and has decided to look elsewhere.
The whole debacle reflected badly on the search giant and it won’t want something similar happening again come launch time later this year. Google will not want for partners for its new Nexus.
Samsung is an unlikely bet, but surely HTC or Asus would love the chance to make the Nexus 5 and get some much-needed good publicity into the bargain.
Either way, this is surely LG’s loss, rather than its gain.