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There’s a real chance here for Google to make the Nexus brand something that people talk about before it launches. As of right now, the Nexus brand may not be the most talked-about lineage of devices for the general public, but there’s a strong possibility (and perhaps even a need) that Google can change that by the time the third Nexus device launches sometime before the end of 2011. And what’s the best way to make sure that people are talking about your still unannounced handset? You let the rumor mill take over. And unlike other rumors out there, it seems that we’ve got a bit of a cat fight between two major manufacturers as they both try to become the next name behind the Nexus device.

Even before the launch of the Nexus One, there had been murmurings that Google had contacted most of the major manufacturers in hopes of trying to find one that wanted to make the first “superphone.” When Google and HTC unveiled the N1, only one question remained: if Google was planning a Nexus Two, would HTC be the name behind it? We later discovered that Samsung would be the next company to bring a handset to the Nexus lineage, and now we’ve got the Nexus S (and Nexus S 4G).

So that leaves us with the Nexus 3, and new reports suggest that both HTC and LG are in the running to bring the handset to masses. Yesterday an image broke cover on the Internet, with sites reporting that it was the test handset from HTC that the manufacturer was showcasing to Google to be the next Nexus device. While there’s no telling how accurate these reports are, we can definitely tell it’s an HTC-based device, just from the design aesthetics alone.

First, let’s just admit that Google has a good thing going here. After all, the original Nexus One was a smash hit, and brought on the superphone revolution. And there’s no doubt that the Samsung Nexus S, along with its 4G cousin which launched on Sprint’s network not too long ago, is a hit in of itself as well. With companies vying to be the next name behind an upcoming Nexus device, Google has the ability to choose which manufacturer gets the prize, based on the best handset.

But, that’s the kicker isn’t it? There’s no doubt in my mind that Google has some “ideas” as to what the Nexus 3 should look like, and what features it should have. Google created an outline for the Nexus 3, but depending on how detailed that outline is there may be just enough room for manufacturers to create something genuinely unique. Is Google letting HTC and LG pack whatever they want into these devices in the hardware department, and will Google pick the winner based on pure muscle power of the device? Or are there all sorts of different factors that go into the decision? That’s probably something we’ll never really know for sure.

And then there’s the simple fact that Google may just be choosing favorites at this point. The Nexus One was a smash-hit, and that was manufactured by HTC. So, with that in mind, is Google already leaning towards HTC to make the Nexus 3? If that’s so, even if LG were to create a “superior” device, would the company get passed over because Google knows HTC has already made a winner in the Nexus family of devices?

If it were up to me, and thankfully it isn’t, I would go with LG as the next manufacturer for the Nexus device. Reason being, is that I believe that this isn’t just an opportunity for Google here, but also an opportunity for the manufacturers. I think it’s an opportunity that HTC took advantage of with the Nexus One, but the same opportunity that Samsung missed with the Nexus S. This is where they can show off not just a concept device, but a concept device that’s actually coming to market. You can pack this handset with the latest and greatest in the mobile industry, and it will get picked up because it also has the latest and greatest in the Android software, free of proprietary customizations. With that said, I think this is LG’s year to get in on the Nexus family. Not to say that HTC probably hasn’t made a killer device, I just think they’ve got to wait for everyone to get their turn, more or less.

Do you think HTC should get the rights to make the Nexus 3? Or should LG be able to take a swing at adding a great family member to the already impressive lineage? Or, is there another manufacturer out there you think should be nominated for a real shot? Let me know in the comments below what you think.


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