Google, Samsung Right to Delay Nexus Prime, Analysts Say
Steve Jobs' was praised worldwide as a business visionary following his death last week. Analysts say Jobs' death also had immediate business impacts on both Apple products and those Android-based machines sold by rivals.
For instance, Google and Samsung postponed plans to launch a new smartphone tomorrow because, Google said, "We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Job's passing."
Also, 1 million orders were placed on Friday for the new Apple iPhone 4S, which easily broke the single-day record of 600,000 first-day sales for the iPhone 4 set last year. Analysts said the record sales were likely due to the smartphone's faster, dual-core A5 processor, a better camera -- and in part to attention focused on the product by Jobs' death two days earlier.
Google and Samsung were widely expected to jointly unveil the Samsung Nexus Prime smartphone running the next-generation Android OS, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, Tuesday at the CTIA conference.
Several analysts agreed that the news of any new device would have been lost as the tech media continues to focus on the legacy of Jobs .
Google and Samsung "wanted to get out from under Steve Jobs' cloud. It was wise that they let the media attention on his death die down" before announcing another product, said Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group.
Other said that portions of Ice Cream Sandwich and the Nexus Prime may not be ready to be shown off, or various parties, such as Verzon Wireless, to be included in the announcement were not ready for the event.
A Google official, who asked not to be named, told Computerworld on Monday that the delay was "not due to any technical reasons."
"Google doesn't spend much on marketing and maybe parties to the news weren't on the same page," Enderle said, adding that "Google has inexperience running marketing groups."
Jack Gold said the delay shows how the competition between Android and iPhone has intensified. Even if Jobs hadn't died, introducing another Android phone a week after the iPhone 4S unveiling would have been difficult, they said.
"Timing is everything in announcements and the timing wasn't right" for Samsung and Google, said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates. "Could there be come issues with Ice Cream Sandwich? Yes,it's possible, but that usually hasn't stopped Google before when they announced something and then fixed the problem before the release."
"I take them at their word that the Jobs' death was the reason," and not some problem with the phone," Enderle said. "Their announcement of a Nexus Prime wouldn't have pulled much ink [in the media] with so many stories out on Steve Jobs' life. This is the same as a major political event that could be shifted if you weren't going to pull any ink. Whether Google was truly doing this out of respect for Jobs or not, it was the right thing to do from a business point of view."
Some analysts said that despite the delayed announcement of Nexus Prime, the device is still expected to ship in October or November as expected.
Gold said Jobs' death might have boosted first-day orders of the iPhone 4S, but added that anything Apple releases these days is "guaranteed to be a hit."
Gold did note that he still regards the iPhone 4S as a "minor upgrade. The iPhone still owns the buzz, and others phones have to offer a lot more than just a competitive device--they really have to excel to capture the buzz," Gold said.
"Can Ice Cream Sandwich and Nexus and Galaxy phones do that? That's the question," he added.
Prior to announcing the postponement, Samsung boasted that its recently released Galaxy S II offer larger screens and faster processors than the iPhone 4S.
Meanwhile, Verizon and Samsung Monday announced that the Samsung Galaxy S Stratosphere will go on sale on Thursday, a day before the iPhone 4S becomes available.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com .
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