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Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile-phone carrier, enters new territory today with the debut of the first phone in the nation to feature the latest Google Inc. Android operating system, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Galaxy Nexus, made by Samsung Electronics Co., is making its debut two months after Apple Inc. set a company sales record of more than 4 million units in three days with its new iPhone 4S. The Galaxy Nexus is the fourth in a series of phones designed specifically by Google to offer a full list of Android- powered services that carriers don’t always completely embrace.
Aside from a request to omit Google Wallet, the mobile payment service using near-field communication chips, Verizon Wireless is handing over more of the user experience to Mountain View, California-based Google than in previous phones. Galaxy Nexus features Google’s eBook application, movie rentals, Google Music downloads and cloud-based storage and streaming of songs.
“Galaxy Nexus will appeal to those who want a unique Android experience,” said Brenda Raney, a spokeswoman for Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based Verizon Wireless.
The smartphone also represents the best attempt yet by Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung to challenge Apple’s iPhone. The Galaxy Nexus has a 4.65-inch screen (11.8 centimeters), a third larger than the 3.5-inch iPhone screen, and is similar in thickness to the iPhone 4S at 0.37 inches.
The Galaxy Nexus runs on Verizon Wireless’s Long-Term Evolution technology network and is priced at $299 with a two- year contract. Verizon Wireless is co-owned by Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group Plc.
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