Samsung’s Nexus Striptease – Fascinating or Freakish?

The Android community is abuzz with speculation about Samsung’s plans for its Unpacked event on Oct. 11 at the upcoming CTIA Enterprise & Applications Conference to be held in San Diego.

Some rumors suggest Samsung will unveil the latest item in the Android Nexus family of smartphones, while others speculate that the device will be a tablet.

Many guessers seem to agree, though, that the device will probably run Android 4.0, aka “Ice Cream Sandwich,” the next iteration of the Android operating system after Honeycomb.

Samsung Mobile released a teaser video about its Oct. 11 event.

It’s widely believed the device will be available on Verizon Wireless.

Verizon spokesperson Jeffrey Nelson declined to comment, though, and neither Google nor Samsung Mobile responded to requests for comment by press time.

The Hunting of the Samsung Shark

There’s perhaps reason for the confusion as to whether the device Samsung will unveil on Oct. 11 will be a smartphone or a tablet.

The device in the Samsung teaser video appears to be curved in profile, while a separate video purporting to be of the Nexus Prime smartphone shows a flat device.

“The curve isn’t going to be the big value proposition here,” Ramon Llamas, a senior research analyst at IDC, told LinuxInsider. “It’s going to be Ice Cream Sandwich.”

The possibility that the device will run Ice Cream Sandwich muddles the picture even further.

Ice Cream Sandwich will support big screens, small screens and everything in between, which leaves the door open to various possibilities. Further, the new OS can be tweaked in new ways — devs can add a declaration to their manifest to restrict their apps from running on handsets, for example, a fact that again leaves things unclear as to which device will be announced Oct. 11.

Tech Specs for a Possible New Nexus Smartphone

Boy Genius Report contends the device will be a smartphone called the “Samsung Galaxy Nexus,” previously codenamed “Nexus Prime,” and has published detailed specs.

Citing an anonymous source, the blog asserts the smartphone will run Ice Cream Sandwich, will be only 9mm thick, and will have a 4.65-inch, 1,280 x 720 SuperAMOLED HD curved screen.

The smartphone will have a Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 dual-core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.2GHz.

It will have a 5MP camera on the back and a 1.3MP camera in front, will support 1080p HD video capture, and will support 4G and WiFi.

The device will also reportedly include near field communications (NFC) technology. NFC facilitates mobile payments and lets smartphones exchange data when they are tapped against each other, among other things.

You Gotta Have Faith

To date, Google’s Nexus line of smartphones hasn’t done especially well in the market. Though they often mark the debut of new Android versions and new features for Android phones in general, they haven’t been wildly popular sales-wise.

“The Nexus line never seemed to catch on,” mused Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. “The first one seemed to go to the geeky crowd, and after that, there wasn’t much. The bloom is off the rose.”

It’s not clear whether the new Nexus device will do anything for its flagging fortunes.

“The Nexus family offers Android in its purest form, so it’s only going to appeal to Android purists,” Ramon Llamas, a senior research analyst at IDC, told LinuxInsider.

“God bless the early adopters, but here’s the thing: It’s got to have a little bit more — the tweaks that Samsung, HTC and Motorola make to Android — in order to appeal to a wider crowd,” Llamas continued.

There’s still a chance that a new Nexus smartphone will appeal to some people, at least.

“There’s a lot of opportunity because the iPhone 4S came out weak,” Enderle told LinuxInsider. Apple revealed the iPhone 4S Tuesday, but response was mixed.

“You have to have something new and interesting, and Samsung wants to steal a march on Apple,” Enderle added.

However, “you have a brand-new OS with brand-new hardware rushed out in the fourth quarter,” Enderle pointed out. “This one has train wreck written all over it.”

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