Google has made it clear that its Android platform isn't exactly optimized for tablet computing, and won't be until Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) ships. That's when things will really start to heat up in the emerging tablet market, and we can't wait. Unfortunately, it looks like we're still a good three+ months away.
According to DigiTimes, there will be plenty of slates on the show floor at CES, though no one seems to be talking about Honeycomb just yet.
"MSI is set to display a 10-inch Wintel-based tablet PC as well as engineering samples of its ARM-based Google Android model," DigiTimes said. "MSI is also prepared to sell an Nvidia Tegra 2-based model in April or May after Google releases Android 3.0 in March."
We bolded that last bit for emphasis, as it's the only mention of Honeycomb. With CES just around the corner, we'll have more definitive info sooner than later.
Motorola has been quietly gathering trademarks the world over for the name "Zoom", PocketNow is reporting. It is believed this will be the branding for Motorola's upcoming Android tablet. The hardware maker has been making the claims since mid-October. This is significant seeing as Motorola does not tend to file worldwide trademarks often. For example, this is the only mark filed for in New Zealand this year, and only 48 have been filed in the US in 2010.
Filing for this same trademark in so many countries indicates Motorola will be pushing this device hard, probably with the backing of Google. The speculation that this is a tablet comes from the explanation of product categories the trademark would cover: "mobile computers and related accessories". This probably does not mean Xoom is just another phone.
Observers think that a CES unveiling could be just around the corner. But if this really is the Mystical Android Honeycomb tablet, we probably won't be able to buy one until Spring. Do you think Xoom is Moto's tablet?
It's always a question with new Android devices; will it get updates? This was even more of a concern with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, as it is the first commercially viable Android tablet device. The differences in the hardware had some potential buyers worried Samsung would fail to keep the device up to date. But at a Samsung event in India today, the electronics giant confirmed that the Tab will get both Gingerbread and Honeycomb updates, SamsungHub reports.
The upcoming Android Gingerbread (probably 2.3) is expected to be unveiled soon, and Honeycomb (3.0?) should drop sometime in 2011. This is certainly good news for those planning to pick up a Galaxy Tab. Samsung is running a modified version of the Android UI called TouchWiz. This UI needs to be integrated with any stock updates to the Android platform. This likely means updates will take a bit longer, but at least they will happen.
The Galaxy Tab is set to go on sale in most countries next week. All major US mobile carriers have confirmed they will carry it, with T-Mobile being the first out of the gate. Do you have your eye on the Galaxy Tab?
Lenovo seems in no rush to enter the US tablet market. After pushing back the release of the IdeaPad U1 notebook-tablet hybrid to 2011, it has now done the same with the more orthodox Android-based LePad. The Chinese PC maker was last month reported to be aiming for a December, 2010 launch for the 10.1-inch LePad.
According to a report on PCMag.com, which quotes Lenovo president and chief operating officer Rory Read, Lenovo is waiting for the next major Android release (Code-named “Honeycomb”) to come out as it will be the first Android version to have been optimized for tablets. It could take the company as many as four months after Honeycomb’s release to launch its maiden tablet, pushing the release of its first tablet for the US market well into 2011.