Rumor: HTC-built Nexus 8 to arrive next quarter

The latest rumors about Google's upcoming eight-inch tablet are in. This time, the folks at DigiTimes say they've been told the Nexus 8 will be manufactured not by Asus, as previous Nexus slates were, but by HTC.

DigiTimes' "sources from the upstream supply chain" also claim the device will launch some time next quarter—quite a bit later than previous reports suggested. An earlier story by the same site mentioned a late-April time frame for the Nexus 8's arrival.

Interestingly, DigiTimes goes on to say the Nexus 8 might be Google's last tablet. According to the site's sources, the Nexus series has "already served the purpose of boosting Android's penetration," and it no longer wields "significant influence in the tablet market."

The latest market share figures from Gartner do seem to bear that out—sort of. They show that Samsung has become the dominant Android tablet vendor by far, with its shipments quadrupling and market share more than doubling from 2012 to 2013. Samsung now has a fifth of the worldwide tablet market, compared to just 5.6% for Asus (which, of course, makes other Android slates beside the Nexus series). Nexus slates aren't just seeing competition from other tablets. According to Forbes, some analysts expect phablets to outship small, sub-eight-inch tablets in 2014.

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