Word is going around on the Android blogs that an FCC filing which looks damningly similar to the Nexus S has appeared, but this time with a different model number, which happens to correspond to a phone we saw recently that appeared to be running Android 2.4. In addition, the phone's radio bands point to a probable T-Mobile USA release.
There has been a rumor going around for the past day from AndroidSpin that Samsung and T-Mobile are holding back the Android 2.2 update for the Vibrant because it will enable HSPA+ connectivity in the phone, which is a major selling point of the Vibrant 4G, basically a Vibrant, but with HSPA+ support.
The rumor that the Vibrant may have HSPA+ functionality secretly built into the phone is pretty far fetched, but that hasn't stopped Engadget from expanding upon the rumor by suggesting that the new Nexus S model might also come with HSPA+ support built-in because the phone supports AWS 3G, which is T-Mobile's 3G band.
Engadget is reporting that the i9023 model has also recently received Wi-Fi Alliance and Bluetooth SIG certification. In addition, some retailers in Europe apparently have a "Black Silver" Nexus S phone already listed. They openly question the likelihood of the need for a new FCC certification if only the color of the phone was being changed, which seems unlikely.
One problem with Engadget's reasoning on the FCC report is that they have overlooked their own previous report that the Nexus S will release in some markets with a Super Clear LCD display instead of the SAMOLED display in the US and UK versions of the handset.
On Tuesday we saw a video of a Nexus S with what appeared to be Android 2.4 running on it. If you look carefully at the video, in the phone info, it's baseband is I9023XXJL2, which includes the model number (i9023) of what appears to be the Nexus S. This to me cannot be looked at as a mere coincidince.
In addition, if you pay close attention to the sides of the phone in the video, it appears that the device in the video may in fact have a different finish than the Nexus S currently on the market. I noticed this when I watched the video at the time, but I attributed it to glare from sunlight onto the plastic case. However, it may be that the device in the video is a GT-i9023 like the one featured in the FCC filing.
This has got some people questioning whether T-Mobile will really release an improved version of the Nexus S close to a month after the release of the first one.
In my opinion, the i9023 will likely be a new Nexus S with the Super Clear LCD display that will release in February with Android 2.4 (likely a small bug-fix update) installed.
Image from Engadget