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Google I/O is also expected to bring a 1080p 5-inch Nexus device from LG

Last year at Google Inc.'s (GOOG) I/O developer conference it unveiled Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which brought Project Butter (smoother animations), improved predictive keyboards, offline voice search/questions, and Google Beam (tap to share).  Many expected that Google I/O 2013 -- which will be held May 15-17 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Calif -- would bring another tasty treat in the form of Android 5.0 (which most expect to be named "Key Lime Pie").

But if Google is prepping Android 5.0, it's doing so under an almost Apple, Inc. (AAPL) level of secrecy.  

Leaked server logs supposedly traced to Google employees show updates of a Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 7 tablet to Android 4.3, with a build string that starts with 'J', indicating that it's still Jelly Bean.  The official Chromium bug tracker also has recent comments that list JWRxxx or JWQxxx as build numbers, strengthening the possibility that this leak is the real deal.

Android 4.3
[Image Source: Android Police]

First spotted by Redditor DanRant, Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) WLAN drivers and a post by a Chrome developer reference a mysterious "Jelly Bean MR2" (MR2 possibly meaning milestone release 2).  Again, these clues point to a Jelly Bean released, not a leap to 5.0.

Last, but not least, there was a rumor floating around that Google was pushing back Android 5.0, to give OEMs more time to update to Jelly Bean.  Currently only 25 percent of Android devices (roughly) are running Jelly Bean.  Critics of Android complain that carriers have been overly slow in updating handsets to the latest release of Android.

Rumor has it that Google I/O 2013 will see the launch of the Nexus 5 with a Snapdragon 600 chipset and a 5-inch 1080p display.  The handset is thought to be made by LG Electronics Inc. (KSC:066570), and would basically be a slightly more petite sister phone to the Optimus G Pro.

Optimus G Pro
The Optimus G Pro (pictured) is expected to shrink to 5-inches, but keep its premium spec, forming the Nexus 5. [Image Source: LG]

Google may be pushing its branded handset contracts towards LG, currently the second-place Android phonemaker, to try to break the hegemony of Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) who Google is reportedly worried about becoming too powerful.

The Nexus 4 (also by LG) is also expected to be refreshed with a new body design, 32 GB of NAND flash storage, and LTE.  The Nexus 4 is expected to sell for $349 USD, while the 16 GB old Nexus 4 is expected to drop to $299 USD unlocked.  Pricing on the Nexus 5 has not yet leaked.

Sources: DanRant, Android Police, Gadgetronica





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