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Google delivers a holiday gift to Samsung, carriers

Now that December is here and the Google Nexus 4 still isn’t, it’s becoming clear that the smartphone sitting atop many Christmas lists will not be under the tree. According to Google’s website, the Nexus 4 will not ship for another 5-6 weeks, and the popular 8GB version remains completely sold out. So far the phone has gone on sale twice in the Google Play store, and has sold out quickly both times. Now a number of those buyers who were fast enough to get one are reselling them for a profit.

Instead of turing to the resale market consumers who want a Nexus 4 – or who want to give one as a gift – may turn to the Nexus 4’s nearest Android competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S III. Unlike the Nexus 4, the S III does not yet have the latest version of the Android operating system, but it does offer LTE capability. And while it may not be quite as flexible as the Nexus 4, the Galaxy S III is available on a prepaid plan via Cricket.

So carriers who were worried that online sales of the Nexus 4 would keep some shoppers out of their retail stores this month can breathe a sigh of relief. So can smartphone makers Samsung, HTC and ZTE, who rely on Google for the Android operating system, but don’t want to compete head-on with the Silicon Valley juggernaut. They will have to soon enough, but not this holiday season.

LG also competes in the Android smartphone market, and the Korean company is in a tricky position now because it is also manufacturing the Nexus 4 for Google. The Nexus 4 and the LG Optimus G have been described as “fraternal twins” because they share the same manufacturing process and look very similar. Right now it looks like the main difference between the two is that the Optimus G is available.

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Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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