It looks like Google has joined hands with HTC to manufacture its 2017 flagships Google Pixel 2 and Pixel Xl 2. In a blog post by HTC Soku, it was revealed that the Taiwan-based company may have been taking care of the manufacturing of the two next-gen Pixel devices. The claims may not be unfounded as only last month a report alleged that Google has collaborated with HTC to build the next generation Pixel and Pixel XL devices. However, later contradictory reports surfaced, which claimed that Google has shelved the Pixel 2 device and instead would be offering a phablet, which will be manufactured by LG, sporting an aspect ratio of 18:9.

HTC to make the Google phones?

However, on Wednesday, June 21, the HTC Soku blog revealed a bit of information that was hidden in the system files of the newly-launched HTC U11 flagship smartphone. The system file contained references about the upcoming smartphones. The system files contained files named, OCEAN_WHL, OCEAN_UL, OCEAN_DUGL, OCEAN_DTWL, OCEAN_UHL, OCEAN_UHL_JAPAN, OCEAN_A, S2, and M2.

For the unfamiliar, the current Pixel and Pixel XL are known as S1 and M1, respectively. Thus, it is suspected that the S2 and M2 in the found in the system files of HTC U11 may refer to Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2. Initially, rumors were rife that Google would launch three next-generation Pixel smartphones, codenamed, Walleye, Muskie, and Taimen.

HTC or LG: who will make the next-generation Google smartphone?

It was later revealed that Google may have canceled Pixel XL 2 codenamed “Muskie” and instead would be launching the Pixel 2 and a bigger smartphone. Furthermore, speculations were rife that the bigger Google smartphone codenamed “Taimen” would be made by LG. Thus, currently, we have contradictory and unverified reports.

While one says that the Taimen device would be made by LG, the recent blog post by the HTC Soku raises the question as to what the S2 and M2 designations are for.

These could also be old references made by both the companies as the news of the Pixel XL 2 getting canceled is fairly recent. Apart from these, the author of the HTC Soku blog also reveals two more observations that may be useful.

First, the names were in the data file of HTC U11, which may suggest that the devices may get a Snapdragon 835 CPU. Secondly, the names S2 and M2 may refer to a unified model across all carriers as there are no carrier-specific entries in the list.