November 23, 2011, 7:50 AM — The elephant in the TechnoFile Room this week is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Back on November 2nd I reported that the phone would be here by the end of the month. A few days later I narrowed that time frame down to sometime during the week of the 21st – this week.
It's Wednesday and we're still waiting for an official word from Verizon and it is looking very unlikely that the phone will be out this month, let alone this week. I feel like I've let my readers down; if you were planning a Black Friday shopping expedition to pick up an Android 4 phone, don't bother. You may as well stay up Thursday night drinking beer and watching Punkin Chunkin — that's what I'll be doing. Believe me, I'm as disappointed as you are.
So what do we know now that we didn't know back on November 7th? Well, we've seen some problems with the phone cropping up over in the UK. My understanding is that it has to do with the volume going wonky during phone calls while on a 2G network. Pretty weird, eh? Electronista has more info; let's hope this gets fixed for the US release. (One mysterious source is reporting that the bug only impacts GSM phones, so it wouldn't be an issue on Verizon's CDMA/LTE network anyway; I have no idea if this is accurate or not.)
Canada's Bell carrier has announced a launch date for the Galaxy Nexus: December 8th. They're accepting pre-orders now. This has led to predictions that we'll get a December 8th launch date on Verizon too, but as far as I've been able to tell this is speculation and/or wishful thinking.
According to Android Central, "Indirect Verizon retailers" (in other words, places that offer Verizon phones but aren't official Verizon stores) can now order the Galaxy Nexus in order to stock their store-rooms. That implies that they'll be able to sell the darn things soon and that it isn't being held back for hardware tweaking.
So, December 8th? Maybe. I'm not ready to make a new prediction yet. In fact I've seen claims from Android enthusiasts with unidentified 'personal sources' that say possibly not until mid-late December. (This is starting to feel like the Droid Bionic all over again.)
Well, I'll predict one last thing: I predict it'll be worth the wait. Last week I linked to some early hands on impressions from several tech bloggers including Computerworld's JR Raphael. Yesterday Raphael posted much more comprehensive reviews of both the phone and the OS. In his words: "Long story short: Ice Cream Sandwich transforms the Android experience, and the Galaxy Nexus is a brilliant vehicle for delivering it." As tempted as I've been to settle for a Droid Razr in recent weeks, Raphael's review makes me glad I've decided to stick it out and wait for the phone I really want.
Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers, and may your (Nexus-free) Black Friday expeditions be successful ones!
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.