Sep 20 AT 9:41 PM Taylor Wimberly 49 Comments

I’d roll with rumored Prime name for my Galaxy S II LTE, if I was a Verizon product manager


The following is certain. Verizon will launch a version of Samsung’s Galaxy S II in Q4. The device will run on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. It will sport the DROID branding.

What remains a mystery at this point is the device’s final name when it hits Verizon stores. I’ve lost track of the all the rumored names, but they contain about every combination possible using the words Droid, Galaxy, Nexus and Prime.

Others have already speculated this, but I would like to echo that I do not believe this Droid device (the one that will be sold in Verizon stores) is also going to be a Nexus device. Most likely it will ship with Android 2.3.x and include Samsung’s latest TouchWiz UI.

Having said that, this doesn’t mean Verizon will not support the next Nexus phone. I still believe Google wants to see their device on all the big carriers and they will do whatever it takes to make a deal with Verizon. My gut says Best Buy will once again be the retail partner to launch the next Nexus.

For all we know, Verizon might have already picked some other crazy name like Droid Blade (or Cube or Gladiator). But if I were the product manager, I’d seriously consider locking up the rumored “Droid Prime” name to take advantage of all the internet buzz that has been building.

Sanjay Jha loves his baby Terminator. (Yeah I'll repost this any chance I get)

If that sounds like a crazy idea, a similar situation almost occurred last year. This site and several other Android blogs were responsible for hyping up the name Droid Terminator to refer to Motorola’s first series of Tegra 2 phones. We had no knowledge of the Terminator name and it came from a reader comment after seeing us refer to the device as “T2″ (short for Tegra 2).

A reliable source told me AT&T was in talks to license the Terminator branding from its creator James Cameron, similar to the deal that Verizon made with Lucas Films for using Droid. The idea was that AT&T would launch a scary robot name to go head-to-head with Verizon’s wildly successful DROID program.

For unknown reasons, the deal fell apart and AT&T ended up calling their first Tegra 2 phone the Motorola Atrix.

It often amuses me when so much focus is placed on smartphone names after all the ridiculous ones we’ve seen over the years. Some might say these names are meaningless, but I would argue that it can seriously alter a device’s chance of success.

I’m sure Samsung was kicking and fighting to get their Galaxy S II brand on this upcoming big launch, but Verizon doesn’t play that game. In the US the carriers call the shots, and Verizon knows their DROID brand adds a little swagger to the launch.

Whatever happens, we should all know in less than a month. The fall CTIA show in San Diego starts on October 11, and that would be the prime time to make an announcement.

If you were the Verizon product manager, which name would you pick? My money is on Droid Prime.

[post image via Droid Life and RootzWiki]

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • tehsusenoh

    I like “Droid Galaxy Nexus Prime.”


    • Taylor Wimberly


      • AME

        For short.

      • R.S

        What ever the name or acronym, the fact that it’s sold through the actual carrier (Verizon) will probably mean it will outsell the other carrier’s Nexus for the following reasons.

        Some people prefer to go through their carrier when buying a phone, even if it means paying a little more.

        Some people, like me, are unable to buy from 3rd party retailors like BestBuy, Walmart, Amazon, Costsco, Wirefly, so on and so on due to weird restrictions from having an old plan.

      • nexus

        My contract is up. I just want someone to release this fabled Super AMOLED HD phone, with ICS and a galaxy II chassis.

  • mfg68

    You REALLY think this thing will launch with Gingerbread and not ICS? That’s a bold statement right there. Why wouldn’t they just have launched it as a GSII then, if 2.3.4 TouchWiz is the case?

    • Sean the Electrofreak

      It’s a Samsung device. I’d be surprised if it DID launch with Ice Cream Sandwich.

      And I own a Samsung phone.

    • johnny

      Google’s platform device will be the first one with ice cream. They are first and shortly after being released for sometime other devices will roll out or update to it.

  • T1392

    Confused! O_o is Prime & Nexus two separate devices? I would understand if Verizon choose there version of the Galaxy SII to be Droid Branded & leave the Nexus a Nexus. If they don’t….., that pisses me off & I’m on to the next one.

  • DroidSamurai

    If I was a Verizon product manager, I would stop using the name Droid so OFTEN. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that once you create a successful brand, you should treat it like any precious item and protect it from any harms. One thing that you absolutely don’t want to do is to dilute the brand so much that it lost its value. And that’s exactly what Verizon has been doing. The Droid brand is just about 2 years old and let’s see what we have:

    Droid Eris
    Droid Incredible
    Droid 2 (& the R2D2 Edition)
    Droid X
    Droid Incredible 2
    Droid Pro
    Droid X2
    Droid 3
    Droid Charge
    Droid Bionic

    That’s 11 devices in under 2 year, about one every 2 months. When they use the brand in such fashion, the value of it quickly diminishes. The name “Droid” no longer carries a distinct meaning.

    IMO, Verizon should reduce the Droid release two twice a year, each time releases no more than 2 phones. Preferably in a format similar to the following:

    Summer Release:
    Droid with a keyboard (Droid OG, 1, 2)
    Large Droid (Droid X, X2)

    Fall Release:
    Google Experience Droid
    Droid w/ Cutting Edge Tech (Droid Charge)

    A release model like this will reinforce the Droid brand, giving the customer an idea of what a “Droid” is. Right now, they just look like a bunch of random releases to most people.

    • AME

      I totally agree with you. However, in this case, calling it a Droid is no problem because the phone will be so badass.

      I like the limited release idea to make it more special and make it more of a brand than it is now. It’s sort of a hodge-podge of mid- and high-end devices by different manufacturers. Somebody tried to “explain” to me the other day that EVERY Android phone on Verizon is called a Droid. I guess that’s the kind of consumer you get when you over-saturate the market with your brand.

    • Black Kristos

      This was my first thought as well. I think the brand has lost any flash it once had. I bet most consumers are confused as to what “Droid” actually is with so many OEM’s and different tech.

      • ben dover

        I personally don’t care for the Droid name. I respect the fact that it really helped Android catch on 2 years ago but every time I hear that voice saying “Droid” it makes me wish they would move on in their branding.

        The only Evo sprint shouldn’t have released what the shift. The Evo brand makes you think of high end devices. Droid makes be think of verizon and not a specific awesome device.
        And I don’t like verizon… lol

        my 2 cents :)

  • Galen20K

    Taylor as usual I think you’re right on the money.

  • Interpol91

    Droid Prime definitely sounds good but as long as it gets into my hands I could care less what they call it. I just want to get rid of this Samsung Epic 4G!!

  • Rex

    1. Verizon’s phone WILL be DROID branded.

    2. Every carrier will carry the Nexus. Except it will be a DROID on Vzw.

    3. It will run ICS. Make no doubt about that fact. You can come back the first week of November to tell Taylor he was wrong with that prediction.

    4. I agree with Taylor, name branding matters and DROID Prime sounds amazing. Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch is by far the dumbest name alive. Samsung shouldn’t have allowed that

    5. Bank on an ICS/GoogleTV debut by Google Monday, Oct 24th & a Verizon release by the following Friday, November 4th.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I like making bold predictions. Yes I am wrong lots of times, but I’m also right on the money others. I still don’t think Google would let Verizon put the Droid name on their Nexus device, unless Verizon was playing hardball and that becomes the only option.

      • DroidSamurai

        >> I still don’t think Google would let Verizon put the Droid name on their Nexus device

        Then Verizon wouldn’t let Google release a Nexus device on their network, period. There was no Nexus One, no Nexus S on Verizon. Verizon has been playing hardball all along. The knees of Verizon executives only seem to be bendable to Apple.

        • CTown

          Verizon already had enough Hummingbird devices and its seems like Verizon feels the same way with Samsung this time around. Verizon knows there is no need for a Samsung-based Droid, a Samsung-based Nexus, and Sasmung’s GSII!

      • hilkers

        I think you’re dead-on with this. Droid is what differentiates VZW’s (perceived) highest end phones from other android and other carriers’ android phones. So, if rumors are true that the next Nexus will end up on all carriers (at the same time or even with a VZW early release), they still won’t likely cough up the Droid name plate. Nor would Google want to go away from their own Nexus branding which differentiates IT from other (UI-tweaked) android phones. It simply doesn’t add up for there to be a Nexus + Droid named phone.

    • irishrally

      Yes, I thought it at least semi-confirmed that Verizon had the exclusive with ICS, whether in OG Droid fashion with SGSII variant (Non-Nexus) with ICS, or as the first release of the new Nexus with ICS. Don’t forget the two model numbers, SCH-i515 (Vzn) and the GT-i9010 (other carrier)

      • Taylor Wimberly

        The only thing confirmed at this point is that Google will be making another Nexus device for ICS. Andy Rubin told us this at Google IO when I asked during the press conference.

        • irishrally

          Alright, but I do think Vzn will have an ICS phone before anyone else by a couple of months, and I know from a reliable source tmobile will not have an ICS phone until late December, early January.

  • Tico4674

    I’d much rather see Google take the Prime name for their next Nexus and not verizon.

    • ben dover

      YES! I’m really hoping the next nexus is the Nexus Prime! it just sounds so much more B.A. than Droid Prime!

  • josegb2011

    i could really care less about the name as long it has the nexus stamp on verizon costumers can finally enjoy some google goodness…

  • GiqueGEAR_Todd

    I was going to compliment you on the top graphic, but then you show Sanjay Jha’s Terminator picture…. this must be Android Geek heaven ! Thanks for the fun.

  • pekosROB

    DROID [PRIME(Galaxy*Nexus)^S2], a name surely no one would forget!

    Anyway we could have the leave comment box up at the top of the comments instead of at the very bottom?

    • Angie Strickland

      It makes it easier to leave a comment right after you read the article when it is up top, but that also discourages you from reading what others have already said before you make a comment.

  • Vectrex

    What is wrong with US carriers? Why can’t they just use the name AND original version that the rest of the world use? It’s so weird. Wouldn’t you want to leverage all the worldwide marketing for something like a Galaxy S II? All the 3rd party peripherals that people don’t associate with an S2? It sounds as crazy as a publisher renaming U2 to ‘Sony awesome band 3′ :)

  • nemov

    I stopped reading after this, “The following are certain. Verizon will launch a version of Samsung’s Galaxy S II in Q4. The device will run on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. It will sport the DROID branding.”

    That’s not certain.

  • Jonathan

    Seems like everyone has already forgotten that Verizon made a statementa few weeks back that they are passing on the GSII. So there goes your Gingerbread/TouchWiz/GSII idea.

    Nobody has anything solid yet, but all the rumors are pointing in a completely different direction than this post. I don’t care what the device is called, I just want a vanilla ICS device with LTE. Starring this to compare to what happens in the coming months.

  • Skythe

    Nexus Prime. Galaxy Nexus sounds ridiculous.

  • Maisum

    Well the name Nexus has to be in there since it’s google’s pure phone, as well as Droid if it’s going to be Verizons top dog phone.

    Droid Nexus
    Nexus Droid

    It shouldn’t be more than 2 words otherwise it’s too long.

    • Galen20K

      the point is that Verizon’s specific version will “NOT” be a Nexus device, only a variation of the Galaxy S II, get it now??

  • Perry Ahern

    It sounds to me like Verizon is getting the newer GS2 variant that was just released in Canada, the Galaxy s2 LTE. If I remember right it’s pretty much the same as the standard GS2 but with a 1.5 ghz processor and some other minor changes.

  • Ross

    Your “reliable source” isn’t very reliable. James Cameron doesn’t own the rights to The Terminator brand, and hasn’t for years.

  • Chad

    Why would the ‘Nexus’ on Verizon be the only one not to have ICS? Would Verizon really turn down ICS so they can call the shots (translate: bog down the device’s potential with shitty bloatware)? Oh wait… All carriers (but T-Mobile) do that now.

  • Slith

    Atrix from Terminatrix? I always wondered that after all the Terminator rumors.

  • Daniel

    Verizon is getting a “Nexus” along with a qwerty droid ics flagship phone to round out the year

  • Options prime

    If lg did it we would of had a.quad core and would and will be

  • counsel

    I’m not crazy about Droid or Prime… I’d create a name that I own the IP for-otherwise, you are also paying to advertise their IP. Make a short film based on your toon/bot if that is what you want.

    You could name it Eros for all I care. Are you wanting a name or the phone?

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  • Jonathan Bruha

    Revisiting this post for a very epic “I told you so”.

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