Back in January, DigiTimes reported that Google was working with ASUS on the next small Nexus tablet, but a report today from DigiTimes runs counter to that with the notion that HTC might be the one that Google goes with for the rumored Nexus 8 . Of course, any report out of DigiTimes we have to take with a grain of salt (go ahead and re-read that first sentence if you don't believe us), but they claim that Google is considering a new design and plans to launch the new HTC tablet as in the third quarter of the year.
The third quarter is just 2-5 months away, which we would hope means that Google's been contracting with HTC for some time for the Nexus 8 design. Where Google and HTC could go with a Nexus 8 is up in the air, though it's more likely that such a partnership would result in something more along the lines of the plastic-bodied HTC Desire 610 than the all-metal and all-expensive HTC One M8.
ASUS reportedly dialed back their enthusiasm for the third-generation Nexus tablets following Google's imposition of new restrictions that would limit ASUS's involvement in the design mostly to that of a manufacturer.
HTC has been out of the tablet market since the dismal performance of the HTC Flyer 7-inch tablet back in 2011. It was thick, heavy, and slow for a tablet back then, though if the performance of the HTC One M8 is anything to go by, HTC's got their design and engineering ducks in a row now if they're to do a new Nexus tablet. DigiTimes adds, however, that Google's enthusiasms for the Nexus 7 is also waning, having "served the purpose of boosting Android's penetration in the tablet market," and that the third Nexus 7 could be the last.