Another Google Nexus Phone To Launch After iPhone 5?

Google may add yet another Nexus smartphone to the family of handsets according to a press briefing a group of Google executives gave following the Google I/O conference in San Francisco.

According to Techcrunch, Andy Rubin, the guy in charge of Android, said “I think the Nexus has been the thing we use to set the bar, There will always be new ones coming out for the market."

He added that “the cycles are holidays and the summer time", which leaves little doubt as to when the handset is likely to be launched. A 4G version of the current Nexus S is due on Sprint sometime soon and it would not be a surprise if Google announced a new Nexus handset after the iPhone 5 creeps out.

The Nexus S itself was launched at the very end of last year, too late to have any significant impact during the holiday sales, but it was a precursor to the Samsung Galaxy S II which is bound to be one of the best selling Android handsets in 2011.

Techcrunch's MG Siegler reckons that the phone will run on Ice Cream Sandwich, which brings together Honeycomb and Gingerbread. Will Google go for a third or fourth partner (after HTC, Motorola and Samsung)?

If so, who could it be? Given that CES is only a few months after the holidays, the next Nexus might be an indication of what lies ahead.