Google Nexus S, or Is It Nexus 2, Details Leaking: Report

The Nexus One follow-up is expected to be the Nexus S, be made by Samsung and headed for T-Mobile, according to reports that show Best Buy spilling the beans too early.

New details have emerged about the rumored Google Nexus S - previously known as the Nexus Two. Following an internal listing for the device at big-box retailer Best Buy, images have appeared on Picasa that were reportedly taken with the Samung-made handset, which is expected to arrive on the T-Mobile network.

Phandroid reported Nov. 15 that images shown to be taken with the Nexus S turned up in an account "that seems to exist solely for the purpose of camera tests." The camera itself, however, is nothing terribly newsworthy, at 5 megapixels. The leaked specs, however, increase the likelihood that the phone - a follow-up to the HTC-made Nexus One - is coming soon.

On Nov. 11, the tech site posted a screen capture with specs for a device listed as the "Google Nexus-S Mobile Phone." If it's legitimate, the bar-style device has a touch screen, relies on a virtual keypad, measures 2.5 by 4.8 inches, supports EDGE/GPRS/HSUPA networks, comes with GPS, has a 1500 mAh battery, and supports messaging, e-mail and Web browsing. The color? Black.

How big the touch screen is, what processor is on board and pricing details all remain to be seen - though RadioAndroid has reported that the display will be a 4-inch Super AMOLED and that the processor will be a Hummingbird.

The Nexus S is also expected to run "Gingerbread," or Android 2.3 - which, according to a Nov. 7 Tweet from a member of the Open Handset Alliance, is also headed for the Nexus One.

Rumors regarding Google's next handset, however, haven't always panned out. When Samsung scheduled a Nov. 8 even in New York, many expected it to be a Nexus Two launch. While attendees were met with a new Samsung phone, it was instead the Samsung Continuum - a smartphone with a second, ticker-style display for news items, updates and call information, that's now available from Verizon Wireless.

Giving the Nexus S rumor more cred, however, Best Buy was reportedly advertising the device - calling it "Pure Google" and describing it as the "Nexus S for T-Mobile" on a Web page it later pulled down, though not before Phandroid grabbed a shot of it.

Google began selling the Nexus One Jan. 13, offering it directly to consumers for $529, or with a two-year service contract from T-Mobile for $179. The sales method wasn't so effective, with Google selling a reported 135,000 of the handsets in the first 74 days on the market - the amount of time it originally took Apple to sell 1 million iPhones, according to analytics firm Flurry.

While limited phone sales could bring down a company such as Palm, analysts have pointed out that every phone Google sells ultimately acts as a means of reference for the software maker, whose own CEO has noted that Google makes money whether consumers buy Nexus One handsets or the Apple iPhone.

"We love the success of the iPhone, because the iPhone also uses Google Search, and we get a good chunk of that revenue when people search on the iPhone," Schmidt told a group of journalists Aug. 4, at a tech conference in Lake Tahoe, Calif. The cost of making the phones was worth swallowing, Schmidt explained, simply to create additional platforms for searches.

"Trust me, that revenue is large enough to pay for all of the Android activities and a whole bunch more," Schmidt told the group.