Fast-forward shortly after the Nexus 5X and 6P launched, and
Google began talks with Huawei to produce its 2016 smartphone
portfolio - allegedly up to three phones, not just the two we
ended up with. It’s unclear if they would have been branded Pixel,
Nexus, or both (e.g., two Pixels and a cheaper Nexus). Google,
though, set a hard rule for the partnership: Huawei would be
relegated to a manufacturing role, producing phones with Google
branding. The Huawei logo and name would be featured nowhere on
the devices’ exteriors or in their marketing, much like the Pixel
phones built by HTC that we’ll see unveiled tomorrow. According to
our source, word spread inside Huawei quickly that global CEO
Richard Yu himself ended negotiations with Google right then and
there. Huawei was off the table for the new smartphones. Google’s
“plan B” — HTC — ended up winning the contract.
It speaks to how far HTC has fallen that they’re now accepting a position akin to that of Foxconn — simply a manufacturer.