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Samsung sets back smartphone launch for Steve J

Wrong time to praise a new Jesus Phone rival, apparently

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Samsung has claimed it did indeed decide to delay the announcement of its next Googlephone, dubbed the Nexus Prime, out of respect for the late Steve Jobs.

"We decided it was not the right time to announce a new product while the world was expressing tribute to Steve Jobs' passing," a Samsung spokesman told the Reuters newsagency.

The company hasn't yet worked out when to announce the product, he added.

Under Jobs' watch, Apple launched a mass of lawsuits globally against Samsung. The iPhone maker accuses the South Korean giant of patent infringement and what is tantamount to design plagiarism, charges Samsung vehemently denies.

Court hearings are not being delayed because of Jobs' passing, Samsung said, so it seems very odd to us that the announcement of a handset it undoubtedly hopes will kick the iPhone into the long grass would be the delayed for out of sensitivity.

The next version, the iPhone 4S, is due out later this week. Carriers are already claiming to have sold out, thanks to keen consumers ordering the gadget in advance.

Samsung is trying to have the 4S banned in various countries.

Thanks to both Jobs' death and the debut of the iPhone 4S, the media spotlight is so set on Apple that Samsung and Google no doubt fear their launch will be lost in the glare. ®

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