What is going on with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus? The hotly anticipated debut phone for Google’s Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system should be for sale on Verizon, but is nowhere to be found. Verizon won’t give a firm answer on anything and now the phone seems to be disappearing on the day it should be launching. Instead of launching the Galaxy Nexus today, Verizon has removed the Galaxy Nexus page from its website. More disturbing than that, boxes of Galaxy Nexus supposedly now exist in most Radio Shack and Verizon retail stores, but aren’t being sold. Did we mention that the phone went on sale in Canada yesterday? It’s doubtful that we’ll get an explanation from Verizon, but we’d settle for being able to actually buy the Galaxy Nexus, which currently appears to be so far off of Verizon’s radar that it has been repeatedly delaying the device since November.
Below is a roundup of recent Galaxy Nexus stories and rumors.
Galaxy Nexus page disappears, then re-appears
Reddit users have discovered that the Galaxy Nexus sign-up page on Verizon, which previously let you sign up for updates on the device, vanished for part of today. vzw.com/galaxynexus redirected to a blank shop page where a phone should be. This was likely a broken trigger, and it seems to be up and running now. If the phone had launched today, as rumors predicted, the sign up page would have converted into a purchase page. Since it was delayed for unknown reasons, the purchase page did not go live. This is all speculation, of course.
Radio Shack and Verizon stores stockpile Galaxy Nexus devices
Phandroid, and other sources, report that Verizon and Radio Shack stores (at least) have received sell-able stocks of Galaxy Nexus phones. One reader almost made away with a phone yesterday, but was stopped after a Verizon store supervisor asked the checkout clerk if she had seen “the email,” indicating that an internal note was sent to Verizon stores to not sell the phone. It’s unknown whether other stores, like Best Buy, have received shipments.
Canadians can buy the Galaxy Nexus, but we can’t
The LA Times reports that, as of yesterday Dec. 8, Canadian carriers Bell and Virgin Mobile both began selling the Galaxy Nexus. This is further evidence that the phone was supposed to launch here in the US, but was delayed. If you happen to live in Canada, Bell Mobility and Virgin Mobile are both selling the device for $160 with a plan. The phone has been on sale in the UK for several weeks and will launch across Europe shortly.
Galaxy Nexus yanked from Samsung shop in NYC on Monday
Earlier this week, a Samsung Experience shop in New York City, which merely displays new Samsung devices, put out the Galaxy Nexus for display and was quickly forced to remove it. Our article detailing our near-encounter with the Galaxy Nexus gives some history on the device, which was formally announced on Oct. 19 and was supposed to go on sale sometime in November.
Verizon blocks Google Wallet
One of the coolest features of the Galaxy Nexus is its ability to use near-field communication (NFC) technology to turn your phone into a digital wallet. We didn’t expect that Google Wallet would take off immediately, but Verizon is trying to make sure that you won’t get to use it at all. The carrier demanded that Google remove Google Wallet from the Galaxy Nexus and Google has complied. The reason? We don’t know for sure, but we do know that Verizon is working on its own digital wallet technology with ISIS–a likely reason for it to block Google’s efforts.
Will it arrive on the 13th? Maybe the 15th?
Two new potential release dates, the 13th and the 15th, are now floating around. Since Verizon typically releases phones toward the end of the week, we’d lean toward Dec. 15th, but there’s a chance this phone won’t release before Christmas at all. Verizon has yet to give any indication that the phone is coming at all, except for a vague “coming soon” in a press release the other day. That same press release said that two “Droid Xyboard” tablets were “coming out this month.”
Update: Now we’re hearing it might be the 20th or 22nd before the phone arrives, if at all. Still no info as to why it keeps being delayed. We’re still hopeful for the 15th as well.
Update 2: The Galaxy Nexus is out! Date: Dec. 15
Is it worth waiting for?
Well, we think so, but we haven’t been able to try it out yet. Initial reviews of the UK version of the phone have been positive. From the looks of it, the Galaxy Nexus is the shape of things to come, and because it’s a Google Nexus device, owners will get all of the patches and updates they might want as soon as they come out. Almost no other phones will get updates at anywhere near an acceptable pace, if ever, because of the many layers of modification that most phone manufacturers toss on top of the Android operating system. Did we mention that it has 4G LTE?
Still, it’s hard to advise anyone to wait. Verizon is refusing to treat fans of the device with respect. As of right now, we don’t know when the Galaxy Nexus will be released on Verizon, if ever.