Oct. 11 was supposed to be the day that Google and Samsung announced a new Nexus smartphone to the world, but instead, the event got cancelled late last week.

Why the cancellation? Well, Kim Titus, Samsung’s PR director, put it like this:

Samsung and Google have decided to postpone the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event during the CTIA in San Diego, previously scheduled for Oct. 11. Under the current circumstances, both parties have agreed that this is not the appropriate time for the announcement of a new product. We would ask for the understanding of our clients and media for any inconvenience caused. We will announce a new date and venue in due course.

Those ‘current circumstances’ could mean a number of things. Some people have speculated that Ice Cream Sandwich just isn’t ready yet, or that the upcoming ‘Nexus Prime’ device is facing production delays. However, it’s more likely that this event was cancelled out of respect for the passing of Steve Jobs last week. For that, Google and Samsung should be admired. After all, even the video Samsung showed off last week was shrouded in mystery, rather similar to the way Apple does things. In the light of recent events, however, it may have looked a little disrespectful to go ahead with the announcement.

The new Nexus Prime (or whatever it ends up being called) is still likely to be announced soon, and could be available in November. Judging by the specs being thrown around, it will certainly give Apple’s imminent iPhone 4S a run for its money. Boy Genius Report revealed last week that the new Nexus Prime is 9mm thin with a curved glass 4.65-inch super AMOLED HD display, features a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, NFC capabilities, and a whole lot more.

It sounds like a beast, and is said to be a Verizon exclusive, running pure Android Ice Cream Sandwich with no third-party UI or app modifications. Over the weekend, however, Phandroid revealed that the Nexus Prime has passed through FCC approval and could, potentially, be available with AT&T/World and T-Mobile bands too. Could we see a Verizon-branded Nexus Prime first, then a similar device unleashed for other cellular carriers?

When Ice Cream Sandwich finally hits, complete with the highly powerful Nexus Prime, it could be a winning combination that excites Android fans everywhere, as well as a viable alternative to the dominant iPhone 4S.

Though we are waiting a little bit longer than expected to hear full details on the Nexus Prime and its availability, the excitement is certainly mounting. The Ice Cream Sandwich operating system has the potential to disintegrate issues of fragmentation across Android smartphones and tablets, and that’s welcome news for developers and customers everywhere.