In the days since Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ death last week, the Internet has been flooded with so many tributes and eulogies it seems that even his old competitors are building arks to help them survive the storm.
The Android camp in particular had originally planned to announce its next Nexus handset – made by Samsung - this week at the CTIA conference in San Diego. But on Friday, October, 7, an announcement was sent out to media that the launch was to be delayed:
“Samsung and Google decide to postpone the new product announcement at CTIA Fall. We agree that it is just not the right time to announce a new product. New date and venue will be shortly announced,” the statement read.
While no further reason was initially given, CNet managed to get confirmation that the delay was in fact due to Jobs’ death:
“"We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs's passing,” said a spokesperson.
The move seems odd. Forgetting about Jobs’ death for a moment, the timing of the original announcement this week – one week after Apple announced their iPhone 4S – was clearly made to draw direct comparisons between the two new marquee smartphones. Given the amount of negative press received by the iPhone 4S in the 24 hours after its announcement, it seems like the perfect time to strike with the announcement of the new, superior Android handset.
And while Steve Jobs’ death has certainly directed some of the attention away from the iPhone 4S, Apple themselves have made no moves to stop selling the handset, or delaying the next iOS update from being released this week.
So it seems that he real reason Android has decided to delay its next Nexus phone announcement isn’t so much a sign of respect for Jobs, but an indication that even a week after his death, the team at Google and Samsung feel that their story would get lost amongst the continuing tributes to Jobs lining tech and news sites around the world.
Will the delay hurt them? Probably not. Android updates may not have the same kind of following as an Apple keynote, but they still manage to sell by the bucketload. But given the new Nexus Prime (or Galaxy Nexus, whichever it ends up being called) is expected to deliver the Ice Cream Sandwich version of the Android OS, with a 4.6-inch AMOLED screen, a dedicated GPU and dual core CPU clocked at 1.5GHz and LTE support built in, you can be sure that the folks at Apple are ecstatic that even in death, Jobs seems to be able to stamp his authority over his competitors…