Although it's unrelated, the last I read HTC submitted there M8 Lollipop build for integration. In English that means Verizon has it and is testing it.
When I say testing, that means they are changing things they don't like and stuffing it with bloatware until it pukes.
If HTC is that far along, then it would not be hard to believe that Samsung is that far along either.
I want to believe this article as HTC through down the gauntlet early on saying they wanted 5.0 on the market within 90 days of Google's release.
I don't think Samsung is going to get HTC get a leg up and it's in Verizon's best interest to work with Samsung as they sell more samsung phones than HTC models.
Negatory Ghostrider that's not what integration means. HTC, Sony, and Motorola already admitted on multiple occasions carriers touch none of their code. They do the changes themselves under the request of the carriers based on what was agreed upon. "Bloatware" is always given in advance and already pretested like any other app on there. That FUD is the biggest lie being pushed around for the past 6 years or so.
Oh Yes Samsung can be that far behind... Touchwiz is has not been modular like Sense is. HTC can get the OS working without updating Sense and just update sense later via Android market. Motorola can do the same. See Moto X (2014) as another example. Samsung has said since the Note 2 they need to optimize their code and the last 2 years touchwiz has gotten bigger and more bloated.
Here's some food for thought.
Those of us that still covet our unlimited data have been limited (by Verizon) to one single in store option should we want to keep that program... pay the ridiculous over the top sticker price of these phones.
Now, since Verizon is forcing thus upon us (even AT&T is nicer to their grandfathered customers), shouldn't paying full sticker entitle us to a phone free of bloatware, faster updates like a Google Play Edition phone and free of vendor skins like TouchWiz.
One such way would be to have a password unlock a software provision when boot into Clockwork Recovery. Enter the password and the phone installs plain Android.
Why don't you just buy it from Google play and be done with it? Or even right from the manufacturer for their developer edition?
HTC promised their update period long before it started rolling. LG G3 is supposed to be rolling out and the G2 in Korea already has 5.0.x. Updates come from manufacturer then to Verizon for their testing and additions of vzw-branded apps, or in my G2s case...subtraction of LGs phone to PC software. In my case as well, there are a number of menu differences between all 5-6 variants of the G2. So, the carriers do change the stock build no doubt and since the update is pushed OTA by the carrier we know the carrier makes their own changes after getting the pure update from the manufacturer. But, suffice to say most all 2013-present flagships and even some mid-range units should have the 5.x.x update by end of March-April.
Manufacturer already admitted carriers don't touch ANY of the code. The manufacturers give options in which carriers can choose from. Once the criteria is set the carrier isn't involved until the update is needed to test against network security. The bloatware is also given in advance and it doesn't take weeks to months to test those... It takes a matter of hours to a day
Ok, still, the manufacturer makes the software, Verizon creates the software changes they want, says change it, Verizon sends it out. Basically, you get plain Android with manufacturer and carrier changes and it gets sent out at some point.