Is LG making next Nexus smartphone?

Release reportedly set for Oct. 29, same date as Microsoft's plan for Windows Phone launch

SAN DIEGO -- LG is making the next Google Nexus smartphone and plans to launch it on Oct. 29, according to a French newspaper and others.

The device, said to be modeled after the LG Optimus G device, appears to have a slightly curved top and bottom edge in photos published by PocketNow and the French paper Le Figaro.

Several LG officials at the MobileCon show here refused to say whether LG is making a smartphone for Google.

At an event sponsored by LG Wednesday night, the company showed off its new Optimus G that's sold by Sprint and AT&T. That device has a straight top and bottom edge, unlike the curved edges in the photos of the next Nexus phone.

Analysts at the LG event said the the powerful 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm S4 Pro Snapdragon processor that runs the Optimus G probably won't run the rumored new phone, variously called the Nexus 4, Nexus G or Nexus X.

The analysts said they expect that Google smartphones will run a Nvidia quad-core processor.

If the rumored Oct. 29 launch date proves true, the event would coincide with Microsoft's formal announcement of Windows Phone 8.

Google now owns Motorola, which would seem to be the most likely Nexus 4 maker, though Google may be working with Samsung, HTC and LG as well, according to analysts.

In mid-September, LG announced the Optimus G would be coming to the U.S. in November.

The Optimus G has a 4.7-in. display with 1280 x 768 resolution.

The prices and shipping dates for carriers AT&T and Sprint haven't been disclosed. Sprint's version will have a 13 megapixel rear camera, while AT&T's rear camera will be 8 megapixels.

LG is fifth in worldwide market share among cell phone makers, behind Samsung, Nokia, Apple and ZTE. The Optimus G is seen as a way for LG to improve its standing.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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