updated 09:55 am EST, Thu December 15, 2011
Galaxy Nexus sparks first US Android line in ages
The Galaxy Nexus launch on Verizon has triggered rare if small lineups on Thursday. In New York City's Times Square store, reports had about 25 people in line. Visitors to a key Boston store also mentioned a noticeable line.
The lines weren't necessarily universal. More than one buyer reported being either the only one waiting or having very few other people besides themselves lined up.
Regardless of length, the queues are a rarity for Android devices in the US. While there were lines for the original Motorola Droid and a handful of Verizon launches for the HTC Droid Incredible, Evo 4G, and Motorola Droid X in 2010, they quickly began tapering off as devices had trouble standing out and the initial enthusiasm for high-end Android phones waned. The Galaxy Nexus is distinct as the only Android 4.0 phone released in 2011 and as the first in the US with a 720p AMOLED screen.
The lineups pale in comparison to those for the iPhone 4S, where many Apple stores worldwide saw hundreds and sometimes thousands wait hours in advance. Some of this has come from the reduced number of devices and pent-up demand, but Apple is seeing brisk sales and sell-outs two months later, showing that it has simply had more demand.
Samsung has tried to make fun of iPhone line-waiters in its TV spots and to spin a lack of lines for the Galaxy S II as a positive. The Galaxy Nexus lines suggest that many of Samsung's own potential fans would line up like their iPhone counterparts, but only if a similarly interesting Android phone was available.