HTC played-down speculation it had signed a three-year deal with Google to deliver Nexus-branded smartphones, issuing an official statement that it “does not comment on speculation or rumours”.

According to speculation in Taiwanese publication Apple Daily, HTC signed a deal which would see it offer several generations of Nexus devices for Google from this year. It has also been suggested that Google is looking to increase its control over the devices, which may see the HTC badge removed and the vendors’ influence limited.

HTC was the manufacturer of Google’s first Nexus device, Nexus One, back in 2010, with other smartphone makers involved since including Samsung (Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus), LG (Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 5x), Motorola (Nexus 6) and Huawei (Nexus 6P, pictured).

A deal would provide HTC with a useful boost as it struggles to turn-around its own handset business. In addition to boosting its revenue from sales to Google, it would provide an uplift to its volumes, which would be useful in negotiations with component suppliers (although Nexus volumes alone are not believed to be outstanding).

And of course a deal would also provide a marketing boost for the company, although the speculation does appear to suggest that this may be somewhat reduced in line with Google’s increased ownership of the project.