Android Ice Cream Sandwich launch postponed

Google and Samsung have postponed the launch of Ice Cream Sandwich – the latest iteration of Mountain View’s wildly popular mobile Android OS.

Ice Cream Sandwich, which is expected to help curb Android fragmentation, was to have been loaded and showcased on Samsung’s new Galaxy Nexus smartphone (aka Nexus Prime) at the Mobile Unpacked conference next week.

But the event has been unceremoniously cancelled, with Samsung issuing the following official statement:

“Samsung and Google have decided to postpone the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event during the CTIA in San Diego, previously scheduled for Oct. 11.  Under the current circumstances, both parties have agreed that this is not the appropriate time for the announcement of a new product. We would ask for the understanding of our clients and media for any inconvenience caused. We will announce a new date and venue in due course.”

As PC World’s John P. Mello Jr. points out, the launch delay can be attributed to a number of factors, including the untimely passing of Apple CEO Steve Jobs and the introduction of the iPhone 4S, which is perceived by many analysts to be an evolutionary device, rather than a revolutionary handset.

In contrast, the Galaxy Nexus is believed to offer a fresh design for Android smartphones, as it apparently lacks physical or capacitive buttons (replaced by on-screen icons), a point which is likely to be talked up in re-tweaked Samsung marketing campaigns.

But whatever the reason, there is still plenty of time for both companies to meet the Ice Cream Sandwich launch date, which Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt pledged would happen by the end of November.