Analysts have been caught off guard by Google's announcement that its second branded smartphone, the Nexus S, will go on sale just five days before Christmas.
The Nexus S, which is made by Samsung and is the first smartphone to run Android 2.3, is designed to keep the momentum in the platform going, analysts told V3.co.uk.
While the move away from the direct sales model used with the Nexus One is sensible, the timing of the launch is not the best, according to Tim Shepherd, an analyst at Canalys.
"The clear intention in releasing the Nexus S is to showcase the best Android user experience and ensure vendors keep up to date with the latest version," he said.
"Realistically, a 20 December launch date is not sensible as lots of people will have brought Christmas presents already. But Google could capitalise on the post-holiday season sales."
Shepherd was not surprised that Samsung was chosen to create the device, as the manufacturer has made great strides and has been rewarded for its commitment to the Android platform.
"Another HTC branded device would have been more surprising, as this would have shown preference to one manufacturer. It is plausible that Google-branded Motorola and LG handsets could be seen in the future," he said.
Francisco Jeronimo, research manager for European mobile devices at analyst firm IDC, questioned the need for the Nexus S and is sceptical about its impact on the market.
"A device like this was needed a year ago, but now Android is well known and is about to become the biggest platform in western Europe," he told V3.co.uk.
"Google's decision to partner with two big retailers [Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy] is an attempt make the device successful. However, I don't see it shipping huge volumes."
Both analysts believe that the incorporation of Near Field Communications technology that allows mobile payments will differentiate the device from its competitors.
Specifications of the Nexus S include a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 4in Super Amoled screen, 5-megapixel camera and 16GB of internal storage.
The device will be available from 20 December and is free on £35 per month contracts or £549.95 SIM-free.
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