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LG confirms it isn’t working on the Nexus 5, but doesn’t rule out working with Google again


An LG executive has revealed that the company currently has no plans to create another Nexus-branded smartphone in collaboration with Google.

In a recent interview with All About Phones, Won Kim, Vice President of LG Mobile in Europe, said: “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.”

When asked about the new Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition – announced at this year’s Google I/O developer conference – Kim added that producing a similar device would provide “no added value for us.”

“We have no plans to provide our devices like Samsung has now done,” he said. “This has no added value for us without our own skins.”

Kim’s comments suggest that LG isn’t working on the Nexus 5, a long rumored successor to the popular Nexus 4, or a Google Edition for one of its other high-end Android smartphones, such as the LG Optimus G Pro.

A spokesperson for LG told TNW, however, that some of Kim’s comments have been misinterpreted.

“What Mr. Won Kim said is that we are not currently working on a Nexus 5, which is true. But that doesn’t mean we would turn down the opportunity.”

Kim’s remarks also counter a report written by The Korea Times, published earlier this month, which suggested that Google was already working with the consumer electronics arm of LG to develop another Nexus-branded smartphone.

Kim’s remarks are particularly notable given that they follow today’s unveiling of the white Nexus 4, a new color variant for the device launched last November. It will launch in Hong Kong on May 29 with the same hardware as the original black iteration, before a wider roll-out in international markets.

The absence of a new, LG-produced Nexus-branded smartphone was surprising at Google I/O this year. Some have suggested that Google is saving a hardware-specific event until later in the year, where it will also announce the next version of Android – but perhaps LG is simply uninterested in the Nexus initiative moving forward.

If so, this would provide a suitable explanation as to why Google partnered with Samsung for the Galaxy S4 Google Edition. Given the existing version of the device, complete with Samsung’s avalanche of apps and exclusive software features just passed 10 million global sales, it’s not as if Samsung is desperate for additional market share.

Image Credit: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images

Published May 28, 2013 — 10:03 UTC