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Google may have selected Samsung as the launch partner for its next Nexus handset, according to the latest round of rumors. Boy Genius Report has been setting out a steady stream of details regarding the first Android 4.0 handset, code-named Nexus Prime. The 4G device is expected to stick to the Android OS experience, stripping Samsung and carriers of any customization or bloatware. As the first Ice Cream Sandwich handset, the Nexus Prime would also be a unifying factor in Google’s rather fragmented mobile OS experience.
Tablet app creators holding out for Ice Cream Sandwich?
Ice Cream Sandwich is supposed to be an answer to Android’s myriad of OS versions, joining up those iterations designed for smartphones and tablets. Android’s ongoing success lies in its ability to derive a stable mobile platform, as rival Apple is rumored to be preparing two iPhones for release later this summer, around the same time the Nexus Prime could hit stores. Marrying Honeycomb and Gingerbread would be a big perk for mobile app developers, which cite design and redesign issues as barriers to creating tablet apps. PCWorld lists several obstacles keeping Android tablet app creation low, including low discoverability in the Android Market, and low demand.
Android success rises, Microsoft benefits royally
Despite fragmentation issues, consumers are still wild about Android. Andy Rubin, the head of Google’s Android team, tweeted that over 500,000 Android devices are activated daily around the world. That’s a 4.4 percent increase week-over-week, and a significant jump from last month’s report of 400,000 daily activated devices. That’s up from the 100,000 daily activations a year ago, demonstrating Android’s uncanny ability to appeal to the masses.
But that’s not keeping competitors away. In fact, Android’s success has only attracted those seeking a piece of Android’s success. Microsoft has signed another patent agreement with an Android device maker, General Dynamics Itronix, guaranteeing the software giant licensing fees for every device Itronix sells. Few details have been released around this latest deal, but it’s sure to increase the amount of money Microsoft generates from the overall gains Android makes. Microsoft has laid out a similar agreement with HTC, reportedly receiving around $5 for every Android device they sell.