After four rumored release dates and consequent no-shows, Galaxy Nexus fans were hopeful to finally get the phone on Friday, but once again the phone never surfaced. Or so we thought until some customers waltzed into certain Best Buy stores over the weekend and found the phone on display and for sale, bearing the Verizon logo and expected $299.99 price tag.
Photos sent in by customers can be found on Droid Life. The screen shots indicate that the phone comes with three different pre-loaded Verizon apps including: My Verizon Mobile account management tool, Verizon Login, and VZ Backup Assistant.
It would seem many stores have started to stock the phone, but for whatever reason-- that Verizon has failed to explain--the phone is being held back. Rumors suggest that the main cause of delay is down to Verizon's alleged dispute with Google over the Google Wallet feature.
Apparently Verizon has asked the search-engine giant not to include its highly anticipated Google Wallet feature in its latest product.
The Google Wallet allows shoppers to make purchases and use coupons online with their phones. Upon checkout, all customers need to do is sign on and click the Buy Button. The virtual wallet can also be used in stores that have pay-pass symbols -- and with one simple tap from phone to reader, hundreds of purchases can be made.
It is believed, however, that Verizon is reluctant to take on this new feature after teaming up with AT&T, T-Mobile and Isis in a joint-venture that will supply a digital payment service, similar to that of the Google Wallet.
Verizon has denied these claims saying that they are not blocking the wallet due to competitive interests; instead, they are looking to find ways to integrate the feature into a new, secure, proprietary hardware in their phones, which again could be a reason for the delay.
The latest in widespread release date rumors is that the phone will be available nationwide on Dec.15. But who's to know after Verizon continues to hold its silence about the official release date. Verizon is telling ALL employees, stores, managers, and indirects that December 15 is the new target, announced Droid Life, but many fans are skeptical, tweeting that they won't believe any more rumored dates until Verizon makes an official announcement
The phone has been released across the border in Canada with HSPA+ versions on Mobile Canada and Bell Canada, but an unlocked version that can be operated with any SIM card is also available for CA $649.99. These phones can be used with AT&T and T-mobile SIMS -- because those two companies do not have plans to launch the phone in the United States.
Fans of the phone expected it to come out in the United States as early as Thanksgiving after it made its debut in Europe, but to the disappointment of many, it never came. Just two days later, the phone miraculously appeared in a Best Buy ad with a Nov. 27 release date, but that too was a no show.
The phone comes with AMOLED 4.65 inch screen with 720p resolution. Its 8.94mm thinness gives the phone a sleek finish and weighs only 135g. Despite being so slender and light, the phone comes with 16.30 GB or 32GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, giving it twice the memory of the iPhone 4S.
5-megapixel camera: LED flash
Front-facing camera: 1.3MP unit
Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0, WLAN, 3G.
HSDPA speed: 21 Mbps
Here's a video of the unboxing of the phone posted by an Android Central reader: