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Acer Android tablet release date wobbles

Can Google get Android 3.0 out by Xmas?

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Acer's expected Android-based tablet will come to challenge the iPad in Q1 2011 rather than Q4 2010, it has been alleged.

Notebook industry sources cited by DigiTimes made the claim, adding that the reason for the delay - if delay it truly is; we're not so sure - is Acer's decision to wait for Android 3.0.

Well Acer might wait: Android 3.0 will apparently add lots of tablet-friendly features to the Google OS.

But Android 3.0 is expected in Q4 so Acer won't be able to ship until the following quarter, say the moles.

Actually the whole Android 3.0 release and Android 3.0 tablet launch window isn't exactly transparent at the moment, so we wouldn't bank on Acer's tablet - or any other vendor's Android 3.0 tablet offering, for that matter - appearing sooner rather than later.

By all accounts, the hardware is done - vendors, including not only Acer but also LG, Toshiba, Lenovo, Motorola, Asus and others, are just waiting for Google to complete the OS. None of the them want to release an Android 2 device - they want to go straight to the tablet-ready Android 3.

There's talk that the Toshiba device might make it out in October, so either Google's development effort is proceeding well, or Toshiba has got fed up of waiting. If the Acer claim is true, it suggests the latter, but neither the 'Toshiba tablet out early' nor the 'Acer tablet out late' rumours is entirely trustworthy.

We can say that a Q1 2011 release would allow Googe and co. to make a big splash at next January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a move that will generate way more publicity than a rushed pre-Christmas roll-out, but which leaves the field open to Apple for even longer. ®

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