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New phone is expected to be flagship Android 3.5 "Ice Cream Sandwich" phone

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) delivered an updated fifth generation iPhone dubbed the "iPhone 4S" yesterday.  Many felt the design underwhelmed.  The phone lacked full HSPA+, offering only offering HSDPA.  And the screen size and resolution remained unchanged.

Apple's decision not to upgrade the industry-leading Retina display seemed like a sound one given current products, but if a teaser from top Android-phonemaker Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO 005930) is any indication, it may be one that Apple comes to regret in months to come.

Samsung released a teaser video just 24 hours after Apple's big event bragging "something BIG is coming".  


The phone in that trailer may be the Nexus Prime, a Google, Inc. (GOOG) branded flagship smartphone.  With each generation of Android, Google handpicks a flagship model.  For Android 3.5 "Ice Cream Sandwich" -- the release the unifies the tablet and smartphone code trees -- Google appears (based on the logos slapped on the teaser video) to have selected a Samsung handset for the distinction, much to the surprise of some who expected it to pick a model produced by its subsidiary Motorola.

Such models -- e.g. the Nexus One -- haven't always done so well in sales. 

But the Nexus Prime could buck that trend.  This week Samsung unveiled in its home nation of South Korea the monstrous Galaxy S II HD LTE, complete with a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED handset with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution -- 50 percent more pixels than the iPhone 4S display.  The Nexus Prime is expected to get an LTE modem and a similar high-resolution screen.

It's possible the Nexus Prime is simply a rebranded and repackaged Galaxy S II HD LTE smartphone.  It's clear that at least some repackaging is afoot as the teaser shows a curved body, which indicates a curved glass overlay to the LCD and/or a curved LCD.  This is an interesting design move and could exempt Samsung's design from infringement claims by Apple.

Otherwise the video drops little in the way of clues about the phone's identity, showing only a power switch and three-pin docking connector.  

Samsung is currently fighting to ban the iPhone 4S in various regions and Apple is likely to return the favor with Samsung's next generation products like the Galaxy S II HD and Nexus Prime.

Sources: YouTube, Samsung





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