Galaxy Nexus... for Sprint. The Android 4.0 handset -- only available in an unlocked HSPA+ form and on Verizon Wireless' airwaves today -- is currently being pimped in an official Sprint ad over on CNET, and it's probably no coincidence that it's live just moments after CEO Dan Hesse talked up the carrier's first LTE markets. Crazily enough, we had a similar situation a few years back at CES, where the Palm Pre actually emerged here on our own ads prior to the handset being properly revealed. We've reached out to Sprint and will be updating this post as we learn more, but here's what's true should the ad prove legitimate:
We're looking at a familiar 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display, Android 4.0, a 1080p movie mode, front and rear cameras, and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. For those keeping count, that's 300MHz more powerful than the 1.2GHz chip in the HSPA+ and VZW models. If you're going to launch an LTE network, might as well snag a phone like this, right? Maybe. What's strange is that the first LTE markets for Sprint won't light up until the middle of the year, at which point the device beaming above will likely be old news. Beyond that, there's the question of Sprint's unlimited stance -- the operator's been holding firm to date, but it'll surely become harder to justify a "truly unlimited" option when its smartphone base starts flocking to handsets like these.
Update: Not surprisingly, the ad has been yanked. The cat, as they say, remains "out of the bag."