Customers hoping to buy an unlocked version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus from the Google Play store have been out of luck since Tuesday. That afternoon, the phone was suddenly and mysteriously pulled, only to be listed as "coming soon." Now Google has confirmed to ABC News that the phone was removed from sale as a result of the ongoing patent litigation between Apple, Samsung, and Google—similar to the litigation that has blocked Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold in the United States.
Until now, it hasn't been clear whether the phone was removed because of litigation or some other, less legally fraught reason. At issue is the phone's universal search function, which can search the phone's locally installed apps and data as well as the Internet. Apple already holds a patent covering this functionality, titled "Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system."