Verizon would have already launched the Galaxy Nexus had it been a DROID phoneEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
At this point, talking about how disappointed I am (we all are?) in the way that Verizon has handled the launch of the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone here in the States seems pointless. I’ve already made it pretty clear where I stand on this whole situation. But you know what? After speaking with a friend about the way that Verizon has handled this, I think I’m beginning to understand where Verizon is coming from. No, that doesn’t mean I agree with them in the slightest, but I think this is another situation where we’ve literally worked ourselves up into a state of madness because we expected Verizon to do something, and they did the complete opposite.
For the majority, the Galaxy Nexus by Samsung is a pretty exciting phone (even if it isn't that pure experience everyone is looking for). In fact, some may think that while it doesn’t have the best-of-the-best when it comes to specifications, that it warrants plenty of attention for its launch. It is the first Ice Cream Sandwich-based device to launch in the States, and that should count for something, right? I honestly don’t think anyone expected Verizon to take the position on this particular device that they did. And while I can’t be positive, I’m just going forward based on what I’m seeing the carrier do, and what I’ve seen the carrier do in the past.
When I asked all of you if Verizon cared about the launch of the Galaxy Nexus, I offered you some scenarios as to why I think Verizon would have let the device fall off the radar. The first, and the one that most people agreed with, was that Verizon didn’t want to cannibalize sales of phones that had released in the middle of November. Specifically the HTC Rezound and the Motorola DROID RAZR. And the more that I have thought about it, I agree with all of you. But, only partially. I actually don’t think Verizon cares about the HTC Rezound at all, it’s just another phone. However, I know that Verizon was (and still is) putting a lot of faith in the DROID RAZR, and if we look at the way that Verizon announced, and then launched that particular device, I think you’d agree with me that the Galaxy Nexus falls more in line with the Rezound, rather than the DROID RAZR.
And that’s the kicker. Obviously Verizon still wants everyone to focus on the DROID lineage of devices, or they wouldn’t still be putting this much stock in the name. Compared to the DROID RAZR, the Rezound barely got any attention at all. And now Verizon is about to launch one of the most highly anticipated devices of this year, and they are handling it more like the Rezound’s launch, rather than the DROID RAZR’s. And I think that’s why we can’t say Verizon was the only one to make a mistake – so did we.
We all assumed that due to the stature of the Nexus name, and the fact that this was the halo device to launch the software in the States, that Verizon would give it the attention it gives its own name brand of devices, the DROID line-up. And, let me be honest: I think Verizon would have, had the device launched with that rumored Samsung DROID Prime name. That’s right: if the Galaxy Nexus was a DROID phone, I think we would have already seen it launched (back in November), and we’d be seeing plenty of marketing for it, too. This is probably a no-brainer, but obviously it’s not that expected, considering the way that we’ve all been chastising Verizon for the way they’ve handled this.
Let me be brutally clear: I do still think that Verizon has messed this launch up, because I personally think the Galaxy Nexus is more important than the DROID name. And yes, that’s because I think Verizon has completely washed out the DROID brand, and there’s not much to be excited for with it anymore. But, I can’t sit here and say that Verizon isn’t just doing what they’ve always done with a phone that isn’t as top-tier as they believe it to be. I would not be surprised at all if Friday comes along and the Galaxy Nexus is available for purchase, in store and online, and Verizon issues a press release on Friday telling everyone it’s available.
I hope I’m wrong about this last part, though. I hope that today, or any day before Friday, Verizon comes forward and announces the phone, says you can even pre-order it, and everyone is happy. But, considering we’re only three days away, well, I’m going to stop holding my breath and crossing my fingers.