Could be the carrier's first LTE phone
The latest and greatest Android phone may soon be headed to Sprint in a win-win for both Google and the #3 carrier.
That is the only conclusion that can be drawn by the fact that a Sprint ad (pictured) was popping up on Cnet.com, and possibly other sites, proclaiming that the Galaxy Nexus was "the first 4G LTE phone from Sprint."
The ad boasts a "4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED screen" and a "1.5 GHz Dual-Core Processor." Sounds like a Galaxy Nexus to us.
After the ad made waves around the mobile community, it appears to have been yanked. But obviously it's still managing to cause quite a stir.
And given the timing of what looks to be a complete and ready-to-launch ad, it's likely we'll hear more about this at next week's Consumer Electronics Show.
The Galaxy Nexus, which Google had an active role in developing and is currently the only phone that runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), is only available on Verizon at the moment.
However, the Nexus brand is known for being carrier agnostic, and with Sprint now launching its own LTE network just like Verizon, the switch shouldn't be too difficult from a manufacturing perspective.
Another important factor about Sprint is that it's the only carrier that supports Google Wallet. The Galaxy Nexus is an NFC-enabled phone, which means it has the technological power to use Google Wallet.
But Verizon has refused to allow the mobile payment platform on its phones because it is part of a joint venture that is creating a Google Wallet competitor, Isis.
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So making its flagship NFC phone available on a carrier that actually supports Google's full NFC functionality makes complete sense. Perhaps we'll get confirmation of this at next week's CES.