updated 08:30 pm EDT, Wed September 28, 2011
Samsung Unpacked at CTIA fall hints Nexus Prime
Samsung sent out invitations to Electronista staff for an event at the fall CTIA show that dropped a strong clue of plans for the Nexus Prime. Unusually calling it the "Google Episode," the gathering will take place the first formal day of the San Diego show, on October 11. The gathering will be a look at "what's new from Android," Samsung said, emphasizing the OS and not itself.
While Samsung hasn't dropped more clues, the emphasis on Google points to the event being the showcase for Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android 4.0, on one of Samsung's devices. The OS is the first to bring in elements of Android 3, the tablet OS, to a smartphone level. Some features will be specific to ICS though not unique, such as an iPhone-style home screen app tray and launching the camera app from the lock screen.
Some of the hardware plans may have emerged from Samsung's own recent devices. The Galaxy S II HD LTE could be the template for the design with a 4.65-inch 720p screen, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, and other high-end features. One cryptic hint from earlier (linked at top) suggested a keyboard, although that might be for a Verizon-specific edition.
A launch is expected in a practical form either the same month or in November. This year, Google may not limit the device to one US carrier at first, as it did with the Nexus One and Nexus S, but instead make it available for multiple carriers.
Whatever its design, the phone is rumored to be important enough to Verizon that it skipped the regular Galaxy S II, saying that it needed a better iPhone 5 rival. A mid-October unveiling may see it unintentionally overshadowed by Apple.