When we reviewed Galaxy Nexus LTE in December, there were no other Android 4 phones.
Not a day goes by without new Android hardware (or rumors of new Android hardware) making the rounds hell, just an hour or so ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google will soon be filling out the new Devices section in the Google Play Store with new, unlocked Nexus hardware thanks to cooperation from up to five hardware manufacturers.
It’s compatible with Google Wallet (Verizon’s phone is not), and it has the pure Android experience that we enjoyed on the HTC Nexus One and the Samsung Nexus S.
Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance, and has seen a number of updates to its base operating system since its original release.
Based on number of devices accessing Google Play during the previous 14 days, Ice Cream Sandwich accounted for just 4.9 percent of the Android install base on May 1.
The Samsung built Galaxy Nexus went on sale Tuesday in the Google Play store for $399 completely unlocked, as well as unladen by carrier contract fees.
By delivering a flagship phone to every handset manufacturer of relevance, Google could help alleviate fears among OEMs that it will favor Motorola Mobility, which Google hopes to purchase for $12.5 billion.
Regulators in the US and the European Union have both signed off on Googles proposed takeover of Motorolas consumer gadget arm, but the Chinese government has yet to approve the deal.
A Nexus family of phones could be produced by as many as five different hardware makers, launching in time for Black Friday this November, the Journal reported, adding that a rumored Nexus Tablet from Asus could go on sale around the same time.
The device makers, we hope, would still design phones and tablets that sit well above the minimum hardware requirements, and you could raise the requirements once every two years to match the hardware that most people were currently using.
If Google could pull of this bold strategy, it could also reduce Android OS fragmentation.
As the first Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) phone, the Galaxy Nexus quickly won fans for its stock Android OS and the power it packed under the hood.
Not only would more phones in the ecosystem be running the latest OS Android 5.0 but each handset manufacturer would have more familiarity and expertise with the new OS, allowing it to more quickly tweak its own custom builds for Android 5.0 on non Nexus handsets.
Yes, you lose the dedicated search button that’s on earlier Android phones, but that’s a trait that the Galaxy Nexus inherited from Honeycomb (the search field is available in almost every native app and home screen).
Currently, about 64 percent of Android devices run on version 2.3 (Gingerbread).
And although the unlocked Galaxy Nexus now runs Android 4.0.4, owners of the Verizon variant are still stuck on version 4.0.1.
The good: The Samsung Galaxy Nexus marries the power of the Ice Cream Sandwich with a stock Andorid OS.
James Parker is a business journalist based in San Francisco, California. James has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. James spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.