Samsung postpones Android device out of respect for Steve Jobs

In the shadow of Steve Jobs’ death, Samsung and Google have cancelled the unveiling of their next jointly developed Android smartphone. Both companies were expected to reveal the Nexus Prime, the latest flagship Android device to carry the “Nexus” name on Tuesday. The device and Android’s latest software update, Ice Cream Sandwich, are now expected to debut later this month.

Though reminders for Tuesday’s event went out to press again yesterday — about 20 hours after news of Jobs’ death had spread — there appears to have since been a change of heart. Samsung originally cloaked the reason for the last-minute postponement in ambiguity, but later confirmed it was out of respect for Steve Jobs.

“We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs’s passing,” the companies said in a statement.

Samsung’s original note to press read:

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.

Respect of this nature doesn’t come often in business, particularly in the aggressively competitive world of smartphones. The abrupt cancellation means millions of Apple’s iPhone 4S will likely be sold before Samsung and Google even formally introduce their latest and hotly anticipated smartphone.