There’s still no official U.S. release date for the Android 4.0-packing Galaxy Nexus smartphone from Samsung, but Verizon Wireless will begin selling the phone this month, possibly just before Thanksgiving.
A purported internal Verizon screenshot shows that the carrier will go live with the newest flagship Android phone on Thursday, November 17, 2011, both online and in stores. If true, the Nexus Galaxy can be yours in just two weeks if you have $300 to spare (this is the rumored price; the cost, too, has not yet been confirmed).
The Galaxy Nexus is the first phone to run Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich, and features an array of high-end features. Several existing Android phones will get an upgrade to v4.0 of Google’s mobile OS, but updates will likely not begin until early in 2012.
So, it seems Verizon Wireless will join AT&T next month in killing off unlimited data plans for smartphones. According to tech sites AllThingsD and Droid Life, starting in early July (possibly as soon as July 7) Verizon will shift to tiered data plans for devices starting at $30 for 2GB of wireless data.
2GB of 3G/4G smartphone data is more than enough for most Android, iPhone and Windows Phone users, but this shift is yet another nail in the coffin of all-you-can-eat wireless carrier data. If true, this move would leave T-Mobile and Sprint as the only two service providers in the U.S. offering unlimited smartphone data; and if T-Mobile is absorbed by AT&T it’s not difficult to imagine Sprint being the last man standing – and they may go wobbly fast.
Existing Verizon customers appear to be safe; as long as they continue service without changing plans, it looks like they can keep their $30/month unlimited smartphone data plan. So if you want to move to Verizon – or upgrade to a smartphone as an existing Verizon customer – and want to lock-in unlimited data, you’d better move fast.
Up to now, the list of phones running Android 2.3 Gingerbread has been a sadly short one. But at least one Android phone maker seems to be stepping up to the plate to take a bite: Motorola.
According to Moto employee Moto_Calvin, the Droid X will be the first to receive the update followed by the Droid 2 and Droid Pro. There were also loose dates in the post: the Droid X Android 2.3 update will be ready to roll by the end of next month, while the other handsets mentioned will be updated “"before the end of the third quarter…” Not exactly speedy, but at least it’s something.
Update: The forum post by Moto_Calvin has been edited and most of the interesting information above is now gone. We’re not sure if this means the information was incorrect or if ol’ Cal just posted out of turn.
Windows Phone 7 users have been waiting four months (and counting) for the first update to their phones’ OS, all presumably hoping not to make it to five. And if a new piece of information proves correct, Microsoft will release that update just before the five month mark – by the end of March.
Microsoft news maven Mary-Joe Foley reports that French web site FRogz.fr believes the first Windows Phone 7 update – aka NoDo – will be made available to users sometime in the second half of this month. Her own sources confirm, saying that a day in the week of March 21st is the latest target date.
Of course, if March passes without NoDo, it won’t come as much of a surprise to users who’ve been anxiously awaiting copy/paste, improved Marketplace searches and general fixes since late October; several reported release dates have come and gone – the latest being March 8th – without so much as a transmitted byte.
But Microsoft is facing a bit of a brick wall here, as Verizon and Sprint are expected to release Windows Phones soon, and NoDo is reportedly required for CDMA compatibility.
Considering Windows Phone up ‘til now, though, wouldn’t it be fitting if the update arrived on April 1st? Just sayin’…
Well, it’s March 4th and still no HTC Thunderbolt; yet another rumored release date crossed off the calendar.
But it does appear that release is fast approaching. Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said that the LTE smartphone will launch “very shortly,” and product literature is beginning to show up at Verizon Wireless stores.
And GottaBeMobile says a few chatty Best Buy employees pegged the new-new-new launch date as March 10th. We’ll see.
One interesting item appears in those in-store product materials: Video Skype. We’re not sure if this will require LTE or if it works over 3G as well, but this is noteworthy feature to say the least.