Documents published by the US Federal Communications Commission all but confirm that Google’s next set of Nexus devices are in the pipeline, with its manufacturer partner this time being HTC.

In a filing made to the regulator, as part of the approvals process to sell devices, HTC said documents it provided are drafts, and “the final version will be made publically available on Google’s website ( at the time the product is commercially released”.

But the actual documents themselves were not available – submission can be made to the FCC under confidentiality clauses.

According to reports, two devices are in the works, codenamed Marlin and Sailfish (unrelated to Jolla’s platform of the same name). They will be launched to support the introduction of the Android Nougat release, although LG is also set to get out of the gate early with this.

The main difference is screen size, with 5-inch and 5.5-inch versions. Other mooted specifications include Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor (possibly Snapdragon 821), with 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 128GB of storage.

The news is not a great surprise, as HTC has previously been mooted (and is Google’s current Nexus partner), and indeed has offered earlier devices in the line (including the original Nexus One). A few months ago the struggling Taiwanese vendor played down reports it had signed a multi-year agreement with Google for Nexus devices.

Last year, Google introduced two Nexus smartphones at the same time (pictured), as it looked to appeal to buyers who prefer different sized screens – similar to Apple’s strategy with the iPhone 6 line. Previously, the Nexus screen size had been creeping up, making it less appealing to users who prefer smaller devices.

But the decision to go with HTC for both seems to have displaced Huawei, which was a new addition to the roster last year, and LG, which was behind several Nexus products. Interestingly, a Huawei executive has previously suggested it was still in the frame for Nexus.

Earlier this year, Google chief Sundar Pichai said the company “could be a lot more opinionated” on the design of Nexus devices, with the ability to add new features on top.