Ice Cream Sandwich and Nexus Prime rumors heating up

By JR Raphael (@jr_raphael)

Ice Cream Sandwich, Nexus Prime Rumors

With Google's Android Ice Cream Sandwich growing closer to its release, the rumors surrounding the software are starting to fly fast.

In the past few days, we've seen some interesting new sprinkles about Ice Cream Sandwich and what might be in store. The latest: 

• Ice Cream Sandwich will launch in late October.

Nothing terribly surprising here -- we've been hearing an October-November time frame for a while now -- but a blog posted by Notion Ink over the weekend adds weight to the notion that Halloween may be the window to watch.

In the blog, Notion Ink CEO Rohan Shravan says he expects his company's tablet to be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich in November, "after Google's launch in late October."

Last year, Shravan posted a blog mentioning a December 6 launch date for the Android Gingerbread release. He was spot-on then, so it's entirely possible he knows what he's talking about now.

• Ice Cream Sandwich will initially target new devices with Texas Instruments' OMAP chipset.

While Nvidia's Tegra processors have arguably been the dominant force in the recent batch of high-end Android devices, ICS will be tailored to new devices with TI's OMAP chip to start, according to Shravan. This jives with info released last month suggesting that TI would be a "prominent part of the Ice Cream Sandwich rollout."

• The Nexus Prime -- or whatever it'll be called -- will be launched in early November on Verizon.

Everyone's expecting Google to release a new Nexus phone that'll serve as the flagship Ice Cream Sandwich device. There's still plenty of confusion about the name -- we've heard Nexus Prime, Samsung Galaxy Prime, and Droid Prime -- and nothing, of course, has officially been confirmed.

[UPDATE: Samsung shows off its shiny new Nexus]

That said, a Twitter user who's established a reputation of being a Verizon insider now suggests the phone could arrive on Big Red on November 3. Past rumors, some shakier-sounding than others, have suggested the phone will hit Verizon first and then make its way to other carriers soon thereafter.

The specifics about the phone are certainly the least substantiated of the ICS-related details we've heard. But the rumors are piling up fast, and at this point, it'd be surprising if there weren't at least some shred of truth among them.

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The good news: It shouldn't be too much longer before we hear something official. And between now and then, you can bet we'll have plenty more leaked tidbits to keep our taste buds jumping.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the next version of Android in my calorie-packed Ice Cream Sandwich primer. Just don't let yourself get too full; remember, this is only an appetizer for the real dessert ahead.

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. 

Article copyright 2011 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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