A new report is claiming that the development of the direct successor to the Google Pixel XL, codenamed “Muskie,” has been canceled. It’s now being rumored that the handset has been replaced by a larger device, codenamed “Taimen,” which LG Electronics might manufacture for Google.
Not much is known about Google’s Muskie smartphone, but earlier leaks and rumors suggest that it was supposed to be the Pixel XL 2. Now, three separate sources told Android Police that the handset’s development has been canceled.
The exact reason as to why the Muskie device was canceled is unknown, but sources claimed that Google has replaced it with a larger device. This device is codenamed as Taimen. The Taimen device has already made rounds online in previous reports before.
Back in March, Droid-Life reported that Google was developing a third smartphone alongside the Pixel 2 (codenamed Walleye) and the Pixel XL 2. No information about the specs was given for the Taimen device, only that it will have a bigger screen than Walleye and Muskie.
With Google deciding to can the Muskie device, it’s very likely that Taimen will end up being the Pixel XL 2. What’s fairly certain at this point is that Google will only be releasing two brand new phones this year, and not three.
Following the report of Muskie’s cancelation, 9To5Google might have discovered that LG Electronics will be manufacturing the Taimen device for Google. The site claims that it found the relevant evidence while digging through the Android Issue Tracker.
9To5Google discovered that an LG employee reported a “USB PD Compliance Failure.” A Google employee then replied and asked for the bug to be closed and be moved under: Android > Partner > External > LGE > Taimen > power.
LGE is referring to LG Electronics, while Taimen is being referred to as a device that the company is currently developing. The bug report also shows that the Taimen device is being called as “G011C.” It’s also likely that the Google employee was instructing LG to hide the bug from public eye. Android issue Tracker is publicly accessible and is hosted by Google.
Android Police’s sources have corroborated the claim that LG will be manufacturing the Taimen device for Google. LG has partnered with Google before for the Nexus-branded smartphones, so it’s not all too surprising that Google would be asking LG to manufacture one of the new Pixel phones.
Although LG has a proven track record of making great Nexus devices for Google, this does present a bit of a problem. Some of LG’s recent handsets, like the G4, the V20 and the Nexus 5X, have been plagued with bootloop issues, and it even spawned a lawsuit against LG. Users have been reporting that their handsets would randomly reboot on their own, and would only turn on in recovery mode. The issue was also discovered in some V10 and G5 handsets as well.
The issue was speculated to be a hardware related problem. LG confirmed back in 2016 that the bootloop issue for the G4 was caused by “a loose contact between components.” This has led some to speculate that LG’s manufacturing capabilities lacked some quality control.
The number of affected users appears to be small, but it certainly would be enough reason for some to feel apprehensive about an LG-made Pixel phone.
Google’s Pixel XL successor is now believed to be the device that’s codenamed Taimen.