There’s been a lot of speculation and debate about whether there will be a Nexus 6 phone this year. We’ve heard a lot of rumors about the smartphone that’s codenamed Shamu, but whether that phone would belong to the Nexus line has been questioned.

Nexus 6 Expected This Month [REPORT]

Now we have a report from The Wall Street Journal that claims it will indeed be part of the Nexus family. The report also backs up other rumors we’ve heard about the Nexus 6.

Nexus 6 to be Shamu-sized

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s next smartphone is expected to be unveiled this month, according to The Wall Street Journal’s sources. They said it will sport a display that’s 5.9 inches in size and be high resolution. They also said that Motorola Mobility, which Google is selling to Lenovo Group Ltd. (HKG:0992), will be manufacturing the smartphone.

At 5.9 inches, the phone will be bigger than Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 6 Plus, which has a display that’s 5.5 inches in size. It will also be slightly larger than Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930)’s Galaxy Note 4, which has a display that’s 5.7 inches.

Google is also expected to roll out the next version of its Android mobile operating system at the same time.

Google joins the phablet wars

Currently the largest Nexus-branded phone is the Nexus 5, which is 5 inches in size. As the smartphone market shifts toward bigger and bigger phones, however, at least one former Google executive said the company will have a hole in its product portfolio if it doesn’t release a massive phablet. Assuming Google follows the same naming pattern, the phone currently called Shamu will be named the Nexus 6, which makes sense not only because of the number, but also the size. The Nexus 6 would be close to 6 inches in size, just as the Nexus 5 is 5 inches in size.

Some believe that adding a phablet to its lineup will enable Google to hit up new customers from emerging markets who aren’t even online and don’t have a computer. Google Android chief Sundar Pichai said recently that they are purposely targeting emerging markets and that many people in these markets that buy their first smartphones are using them as “pocket computers” so they don’t need a desktop and / or a laptop computer.

Will the Nexus 6 be less expensive than the iPhone 6 Plus?

If all the rumors are true, Google will also probably be able to deliver a phablet-sized smartphone that’s less expensive than Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus. Apple’s phablet costs $749 in the U.S. without a contract. It’s unclear just how much Google might charge for the Nexus 6, but it’s bound to be less than what Apple charges for the iPhone 6 Plus. Of course it’s entirely possible that the price gap won’t be all that much, as MoDaCo’s Paul O’Brien said on Twitter that the Nexus 6 could cost less than $724.

If Google wants to keep its share of the smartphone market and steal from Apple, however, the company will have to keep the gap with the iPhone 6 Plus as large as possible. Consumers have come to know and trust Google’s own smartphones to be less expensive than the competition while still being of very high quality.