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Verizon Galaxy Nexus stocked in many stores, now coming December 15th? (update)

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New rumors suggest that the Verizon Galaxy Nexus will be released on December 15th. Stores reportedly have the phone in-stock and ready to sell, but Verizon may be delaying the release.

Galaxy Nexus LTE Verizon Wireless Hands-On
Galaxy Nexus LTE Verizon Wireless Hands-On

If you haven't noticed (we're guessing you had), the rumored December 9th release date for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus hasn't panned out. We've received details from multiple tipsters saying that today was definitely the original plan, but Verizon is keeping retailers from selling the phone. We hear that the new date is now set for December 15th and that many Verizon, Best Buy, and Radio Shack stores all have the phone sitting in the back room, ready to be sold. In fact, a few lucky people at Android Forums have managed to convince retailers to sell them the device early.

The only thing that's left is the final OK from Verizon, and that seems to be the crux of the matter. Many store managers and employees are at a loss to explain why they cannot sell the devices while conspiracy theories about the decision to nix Google Wallet and even a delay for a 4.1 software update are swirling. We certainly don't want to add to the pile, but it's hard to avoid the conclusion that there is some sort of strategic disconnect between Verizon and Google behind the whole matter.

Whatever the issue, we're training our eyes on December 15th and hoping that it won't be December 9th all over again.

Update: One of our Verizon tipsters says his store received the following statement: "Rigorous device testing is part of our commitment to our customers. Verizon will not release a device until our highest standards have been met. We'll announce the launch of the Galaxy Nexus by Samsung as soon as it's available."