updated 11:20 am EDT, Mon August 29, 2011
Rumor has Samsung Droid Prime due at Verizon
Verizon's decision to skip the Galaxy S II may not have dropped Samsung entirely out of the picture. An apparent leak points to the Google Nexus Prime coming to Verizon as the Samsung Droid Prime. The phone, now identified as the SCH-i515 by BGR, should be the first phone with Ice Cream Sandwich and may have a 720p display.
Corroborating earlier claims, it would ship in October. No mention has been made of whether the phone would be available elsewhere as the Nexus Prime.
The decision is nonetheless a minor slap at Samsung, according to an explanation. Despite the Galaxy S II being Samsung's centerpiece phone for the year, Verizon has doubted that the hardware "will be competitive with the iPhone 5" when it launches around the same time. AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are all carrying the upgraded Galaxy S II, not a variant on the Droid Prime.
Verizon's strategy if true would mark a distinct reversal of priority. The carrier from late 2009 until 2011 depended almost exclusively on Android for sales. Its early success with iPhone sales may have lowered its expectations for Android: at 2.3 million iPhones a quarter, Verizon is selling about twice as many of Apple's one model as its entire 4G Android roster. Many expect the iPhone to only become more important once the iPhone 5 releases in October and an 8GB iPhone 4 starts competing with low-end Android hardware.