Google’s Android Version 3.0 of is going to have to be damn good, as there’s now a hell of a lot of tablet manufacturers gambling on it’s abilities. All this waiting for Android 3.0 is giving the iPad a potentially commanding lead.
Here’s the Guardian’s take on yet another manufacturer delaying until Android 3.0 is launched before releasing a tablet on the market.
Google’s head of mobile Hugo Berra was said to have spooked many a manufacturer last month when he openly noted that Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) is “not optimised for use on tablets”.
Fast forward three weeks, and LG has pulled the plug on its planned Android 2.2 tablet computer, initially due for release by the end of this year – suggesting it will join HTC and Motorola in holding out for the release of Android 3.0 (“Gingerbread”).
“We plan to introduce a tablet that runs on the most reliable Android version […] We are in talks with Google to decide on the most suitable version for our tablet and that is not Froyo 2.2,” an unnamed LG official is reported to have told Reuters, no doubt putting the wind right up Samsung. But fair enough – that gives us some indication at what we can expect at the January CES.
Although we’ve received no official word on when to expect Android 3.0 – Google’s first tablet-oriented mobile operating system – some experts are predicting a release as early as this month. Carolina Milanesi, research vice president of mobile devices at Gartner, predicts that Gingerbread will be released in good time for a slew of tablet releases before Christmas. (Presumably high-end tablet devices, not those bashed out by high street fashion retailers).
“The next Android OS, ‘Gingerbread’, will support larger screen sizes which makes it much better suited than Froyo for tablets,” Milanesi told the Guardian. “It should be released in mid-October to hit the markets with products in time for the holiday season.”
Interesting, given that Samsung makes its market debut later this month in Italy, probably South Korea, then expanding to the US and Japan in November – all the while running already-outmoded software. Apposite, you might think, given the dynamism of the tablet market.
Milanesi said: “It was interesting to hear LG say they have delayed their tablet to wait for the new OS – I think this is a sensible approach as 7″ might not be enough for users that want a clear difference from what they get today on their 3.5 or 4″ smartphone. I would expect the bigger push to market to happen around CES in January 2011. It will be interesting to see Apple come to market with its second generation iPad in the new year when most vendors will still be working on their first device.”
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