Google and Samsung may have delayed the new Nexus phone over patent fears, after initially saying they postponed the announcement out of respect for Steve Jobs.
The Nexus Prime and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich are “under question,” according to Eldar Murtazin, editor in chief of Mobile-review.com, saying Google is reviewing some features that may be subject to patent litigation.
Murtazin’s contention, that Google and Samsung used Steve Jobs’ death as a fake excuse to delay the Nexus’ debut, is a serious accusation. He has a reputation as a “plugged-in insider,” but his reports have also been proven wrong several times before.
Still, ongoing patent troubles for current Galaxy products add credibility to Murtazin’s report.
Apple is pushing for a scheduled injunction against Samsung on October 13, and the judge is expected to rule whether or not products like the Galaxy S2 should be banned in the U.S. A ruling against Samsung would likely not result in an actual ban of its products, but the company would have to pay licensing and possible royalty fees to keep their devices on store shelves.
Samsung and Google may have wanted to steer the announcement of a major product like the Nexus, which may violate some of the same patents as other Galaxy products, away from the injunction date. However, it’s impossible to judge whether Google and Samsung were motivated to delay the announcement out of respect for Jobs, or whether there were other factors at work.
Neither company has yet announced when the device will debut. But Engadget reports it may happen as early as October 19 at the All Things Digital event in Hong Kong, pitting it against Apple’s iPhone 4S.
There’s no way to know if patent trouble is the real reason for the delay of the new Nexus phone. But when it is announced, if it’s as impressive as Samsung and Google claim, it will likely be a hot target for patent-related lawsuits.