HTC is returning to the tablet industry - well, sort of. Google has selected HTC to build its next Nexus tablet, the Google Nexus 9, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. If true, it'll be the first time HTC has built a tablet in three years (an eternity in tech time).

The report claims HTC engineers have been flying out to Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, in recent months to help work on the project.

Partnering with different manufacturers to build Google-branded hardware isn't uncommon as the search giant has worked with multiple hardware providers over the years including Asus, LG and Samsung on different projects.

The Nexus 9 tablet is expected to be powered by Nvidia's Tegra K1 processor and run Android "L," the next version of Google's mobile operating system in its alphabetical naming scheme. Possible names making the rounds include Lollipop and Lemon Meringue Pie.

HTC first joined the tablet race in early 2011 with the HTC Flyer. The company followed it up with the launch of the HTC Jetstream later that year yet despite their aviation-based names, the Flyer and Jetstream never took off with consumers.

Of course, the tablet market was very different back then versus today. Manufacturers were still struggling to find the sweet spot in tablet pricing which meant many - like HTC's two offerings - were priced way too high at launch. For example, HTC wanted $700 plus a two-year data commitment with AT&T for the Jetstream.