Google and Samsung say they canceled an event in honor of Steve Jobs' death
The companies were set to unveil a new Android phone next week
The event was planned to conincide with a wireless industry trade show
Apple rivals Google and Samsung said Friday that they have canceled the launch of a new smartphone next week to honor the death of Steve Jobs.
The press announcement for the Android phone was set for Tuesday at a wireless industry trade show in San Diego, but representatives from Google and Samsung decided Thursday night, a day after the Apple co-founder’s death, that they would postpone the event, Samsung spokesman Kim Titus said in a phone interview.
“We just felt that it wasn’t the right time to make a major product announcement while the world is still paying tribute to Steve Jobs,” Titus said. “There’s never been such an iconic figure in our industry pass away before.”
A Google spokesman said in a statement: “We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs’ passing.” He added that the development is on schedule. Titus also said the product is on track and that the delay is related only to Jobs’ death.
Google and Samsung were expected to showcase a new Nexus phone with a curved glass screen, which would be the first to run a next-generation version of Android called Ice-Cream Sandwich. They have not set a new date for the news conference, Titus said.
Titus acknowledged that Apple and its partners are carrying on in the wake of Jobs’ death. Apple and its cellular operators began selling pre-orders for the iPhone 4S on Friday. Sprint Nextel, the newest carrier for the iPhone, announced Friday that its next-generation 4G network will debut in 120 cities by the end of next year.
“Under the current circumstances, both parties have agreed that this is not the appropriate time for the announcement of a new product,” Titus said in a statement to reporters and clients.
Despite Jobs’ public disparagement of Apple rivals, executives from Google and Samsung voiced only condolences after the technology pioneer’s death.
Google CEO Larry Page expressed his sadness at the news and said Jobs had always been an inspiration to him. He also revealed that a sick Jobs offered Page advice earlier this year when Page took over as CEO from Eric Schmidt, a former Apple board member. Sergey Brin said he and his co-founder, Page, had admired Jobs’ “vision and leadership” skills.
In comments on Apple earnings calls and at conferences, Jobs described Android as a flawed, fragmented system and lamented about how Google, once a close partner, decided to compete with Apple. In a string of legal disputes around the world, Apple and Samsung have traded assertions that they copied the other’s inventions, and both companies are trying to block the sale of each other’s gadgets.
After Jobs’ death, Samsung CEO Choi Gee-Sung said in a statement: “Steve Jobs introduced numerous revolutionary changes to the information technology industry and was a great entrepreneur. His innovative spirit and remarkable accomplishments will forever be remembered by people around the world.”
Similar statements came from other Apple competitors that Jobs had waged public wars with in the past, including Microsoft, Nokia, Research in Motion and Sony.