The first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone will soon be available in its country of origin on Wednesday. OK, technically the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is made in Asia, but the latest Google phone carrying the anticipated Android upgrade traces its software roots to California. Fans there and in the rest of the United States have eagerly been awaiting its arrival while watching the device's global rollout pass them by.
The Galaxy Nexus first landed weeks ago in Europe, where there were widespread reports of problems with volume control and other bugs. In the interim, Canada and other countries received the phone while the U.S. continued to wait. The Galaxy Nexus dropped in Australia on Tuesday, and the American release was announced shortly thereafter.
Verizon Wireless - the CDMA carrier with a deal to offer the Galaxy Nexus exclusively in the U.S., at least for a little while - says the Google Phone will be available online and in Verizon stores starting Wednesday.
Some shoppers were able to get a hold of the phones in the U.S. at Best Buy stores early, after the stores apparently stocked them ahead of time by mistake. This would seem to indicate that retail locations already have the phones on hand and are likely to start selling them as well.
In addition to carrying some clout as the first official Ice Cream Sandwich phone, the Galaxy Nexus is also among the few Android phones carrying an NFC chip, which can communicate with PayPass and other payment stations that use Near Field Communication.
Check out Gizmag's earlier coverage for more specs and what to expect from the Galaxy Nexus. The Verizon CDMA version of the phone is expected to sell for $299 with a two-year contract, although discounts are already popping up online that could cut that figure by as much as half. Pricing in Australia is a bit more complicated, but you can find a good breakdown here.