Why did Samsung yank the Galaxy Nexus from its NYC showcase shop?

samsung-galaxy-nexus-samsung-experience-nyc

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the first phone to run Google’s new Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system. As such, it’s one of the most hotly anticipated phones of the season, but you wouldn’t know it by Verizon and Samsung’s behavior. The phone has been a ghost here in the US, with new release date and reveal rumors popping up every day. Over the weekend though, Engadget and a few other sites spotted a Galaxy Nexus in Samsung’s Experience shop in Columbus Circle, New York City and spent some time with the device. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the shop earlier today to check it out, I discovered that the phones had been removed.

Wondering where the Galaxy Nexus was, I asked several employees at the shop, which doesn’t sell Samsung gear, but shows off all of the company’s latest products. The response I got was universal denial. All of the employees had a half smile because they knew what I was talking about, but all professed that they had no knowledge about why the phones had been removed. One employee told me that the decision came “straight from the top,” but refused to elaborate on exactly what that meant. I attempted to speak with the head of the shop, but he ducked out of the store through a back room after seeing me. From the sound of it, he was on the phone with a journalist like myself, or someone else, denying knowledge on exactly why the phone had been removed from the display. 

So, I did not get to see the Galaxy Nexus today. The question I have is: why? Why were Samsung employees instructed to remove the phone from this shop, which doesn’t even sell devices? Did Samsung executives make the call, or is Verizon still trying to suppress information on the device?

galaxy-nexus

Everything about the Galaxy Nexus’s US debut has been fishy. The device was originally rumored to be called the “Droid Nexus,” “Nexus Prime,” or “Droid Prime” and was set to be unveiled at CTIA in San Diego on Oct. 11, but its unveiling was delayed until Oct 19 and moved to Hong Kong. The delay was blamed on the death of Steve Jobs, but the fact that the phone has no Droid branding and Google and Samsung refused to name Verizon as the US carrier of the phone, was suspicous. The only word we got was that it would be LTE capable and hit shelves in America sometime in November. Well, November has come and gone and we still don’t have any information from Verizon on when and how we might get our hands on the Galaxy Nexus, or even if it will launch this year.

press release from Verizon today labeled it as “anxiously awaited” and “coming soon,” yet the same press release labeled the new Droid Xyboard tablets from Motorola as coming “in December.” What’s the deal? Is the Galaxy Nexus even coming out in 2011? If not, why is Verizon being so mum?

There’s no predicting exactly why the major US carriers do anything except that it’s almost always to enhance profit and control their brand message. The Galaxy Nexus may be the best phone that has ever been released, but Verizon probably doesn’t want you to know about it because it might impact sales of the company’s Droid products like the Droid Razr or upcoming Droid 4. If consumers see those Android 2.3 phones next to an Android 4.0 phone, they’re likely to pick the Galaxy Nexus. I probably would. 

Still, why the media suppression? The Galaxy Nexus may not be a Droid phone, but it could still draw a lot of interest to Verizon. And doesn’t the carrier owe it to those waiting for the phone to at least give some kind of timeline as to when we might expect it? I’ve been waiting to upgrade my phone for almost three months in anticipation of the Galaxy Nexus and I’m a mouse click away from switching to T-Mobile and ordering an unlocked version of the device, which is already available overseas. Hell, on T-Mobile, my bill could be a third of what I pay on Verizon ($35 instead of $95)

So what’s the deal, Verizon? It’s time to just let us know if we’re getting the Galaxy Nexus this year or not. 

Update 12-06-2011: Google confirms that Verizon will block Google Wallet from the Galaxy Nexus

(Image courtesy Droid-Life)

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Mobile

Google brings its high-accuracy emergency location tracking to the U.S.

Google has announced that its Emergency Location Service is coming to Android phones on T-Mobile, marking the service's U.S. debut. The service allows for high-accuracy location information to be sent to first responders.
Mobile

Android 9.0 Pie is finally rolling out to the OnePlus 6

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Here's the Samsung Galaxy S9's new Android 9.0 Pie interface

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are here. The flagship devices boast some awesome new features and a powerful new processor. Here's everything you need to know about these Samsung phones.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Mobile

Fitbit’s new health care platform sets out to improve wellness in the workplace

Fitbit's new platform, Fitbit Care, aims to help improve wellness in the workplace. Using wearables, digital health coaching, and a more personalized health care experience, employees can have an easier time staying on top of their health.
Mobile

Samsung looks to Huawei for inspiration, and the new Galaxy A7 is born

Samsung has launched the Galaxy A7 smartphone, its first with a triple-lens rear camera, which, although sounds similar to the one fitted to the Huawei P20 Pro, works in a different way.
Mobile

Huawei is not-so-subtly trolling Friday’s iPhone launch

Apple launches the iPhone XS range to the public on Friday, but Huawei is out in force to remind the public what they could be missing out on (Hint: It's the Mate 20 Pro) by choosing Apple's latest smartphone.
Mobile

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro's body may wirelessly charge new Bluetooth headphones

Huawei is no stranger when it comes to big phones. And this year it plans to go even bigger with the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Here's what we think we know about the new range.
Mobile

Our favorite tips and tricks to help you master your Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Apple's not the only game in town when it comes to productivity tablets. Samsung's Galaxy Tab S4 has all the features you'll need to get work done. Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4.
Mobile

Audio company Bragi is suing OnePlus over the word 'dash'

Despite taking steps to change to "Warp Charge," OnePlus is being sued by audio company Bragi over the phone manufacturer's continued use of the word "dash" in the Dash Charging used in OnePlus phones.
Mobile

The best weather apps for Android will keep you dry no matter where you go

You may not be able to change the weather, but you can at least be prepared for it. Check out our guide to the best weather apps for Android, so you'll always know what to expect when you step out the front door.
Mobile

Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro: Clash of the titans

Anyone seeking a great new smartphone with plenty of money to spend has two amazing options, but which is better for you? We pit the Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro in various categories to help you choose.
Mobile

Hateful software kills our enthusiasm for newcomer Realme’s $155 Android phone

Realme is a new smartphone brand with an interesting start to life, as it closely mirrors that of OnePlus, a brand we admire. The Realme 2 is its second phone, and we've given it a try to see if it's a winner.
Mobile

BlackBerry Key2 LE vs. BlackBerry Key2: Which productivity titan reigns supreme?

The Blackberry Key2 LE has many of the same features as its more expensive competitor, the BlackBerry Key2, yet comes in at $250 less. Which one should you choose? Here's how the BlackBerry Key2 LE and BlackBerry Key2 compare.