Well what have we here? There’s a growing theory that Verizon and Google are still hard at work perfecting the final release software version for the Galaxy Nexus, perhaps to include Google Wallet and/or enhancements/bugfixes for the LTE radio that may be causing some issues. Whatever the reason, the oft-rumored release date of December 9th is here with nary a word from Verizon.

There have been countless rumors floating around about when the Galaxy Nexus will actually be released on Big Red’s network. Last night, we received a tip from an employee from the mobile department of a large regional retailer who was starting to receive their shipment of Galaxy Nexus devices. Written in big black Sharpie on the shipping box are the words: “Street Date 12/31/11.” (You can check the pictures out for yourself in the gallery).

We must add a huge caveat here that these pictures could easily be faked; anyone who’s anyone has a Sharpie lying around, and can easily have added these words and sent in the pictures just to mess with us. We hope they didn’t, but it’s definitely possible, so take this story with a grain of salt (hence the rumor tag). Also, we acknowledge that certain retailers may be getting the Galaxy Nexus after it goes on sale at Verizon and major national retailers such as Best Buy.

Should the December 31st date hold, the Galaxy Nexus would release a full two and a half months after it was announced on October 18th. Though not nearly as long as we waited for Verizon to release the Motorola DROID Bionic, it’s still a pretty significant wait for what might be the most hotly anticipated Android device to date.

We are just about as sick as you are of hearing all of the rumored dates, and want Verizon to just shut up and take our money. We’re still hoping this device will come out before 2011 is over, and we’re sure many of you are as well. Hopefully we’ll hear from Verizon soon.

Update: For what it’s worth, Kellen of Droid-Life is reporting that December 15th is Verizon’s new target launch date for the Galaxy Nexus. Other retailers like Fry’s, Costco, Best Buy, and Radio Shack could still sell the device on their own launch schedules.

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