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This will be the third phone made in direct collaboration with the search engine giant and the first to run a new version of its Android operating system and codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich.

The event was scheduled to take place last week, but was postponed out of respect for Steve Jobs, who died earlier this month.

It is expected that the device will launch in the UK later this month or early November, in time for the Christmas season. As a flagship Google device, it will run a ‘vanilla’ version of Google Android, rather than including add-ons made by Samsung. Previously, Google released the Nexus, made by HTC, and the Nexus S made by Samsung.

Rumours online suggest that the device will include high definition (720p) display, a dual core 1.5GHz processor and a screen size of 4.65”. It has also been rumoured that the new software will make the device free of physical buttons, replacing them with on-screen equivalents.

The key changes, however, are likely to be in the software itself. Ice Cream Sandwich will be Google’s first operating system to run on both tablets and phones. The company hopes that this will encourage app developers to work on their platform, rather than on Apple’s iOS.

New features are likely to include improved social networking integration as standard, as well as a redesigned interface.

Google has come under increasing pressure to make Android as simple to use as Apple’s iPad and iPhone, with analysts and critics focusing on user experience and apps, rather than on sales figures. Google already accounts for more than half of all new smartphones sold in the UK and America, but surveys report price to be a driving factor, with brand loyalty lagging behind BlackBerry and Apple.

Google confirmed last week that 190 million Android devices have been activated worldwide and that mobile revenues have grown 2.5 times in the last 12 months.

The Nexus Prime is likely to cost approximately £500 on launch, in line with Samsung’s current flagship the Galaxy SII. It is likely to be free on tariffs of £35 per month.

Source: The Telegraph