LG holds back Android tablet for Gingerbread
Awaiting a less smartphone-centric OS
"We plan to introduce a tablet that runs on the most reliable Android version," a company spokesman told the Reuters newsagency today. "We are in talks with Google to decide on the most suitable version for our tablet and that is not Froyo 2.2."
That will come as a blow to rival Korean giant Samsung which will release its Android 2.2-based tablet, the Galaxy Tab, next month. All other Android tablets that are already available or on the verge of shipping are based on versions 2.1 or 2.2 of the OS.
However, Android 3.0, due late 2010 and codenamed 'Gingerbread', is more suited to tablets, having been designed from the start with such devices in mind. Previous releases were intended only for smartphones.
Acer, for one, is already believed to be holding back on a tablet release while it awaits the arrival of Android 3 and all the tablet-friendly features missing from 2.2.
LG always said its tablet wouldn't be out until Q4, but a decision to await Android 3 will almost certainly mean the product doesn't appear until Q1 2011 - perfect timing, in fact, for a big outing at January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. ®
If you release a device with a suboptimal OS
you forever scar that device. How many phones have we seen with rubbish OS's, which are only remembered for having rubbish OSs even when later patches have fixed them.
Better to wait a bit if you're planning to charge premium prices.
Scratching my head now...
So what is it with these designs that they cannot simply release with current Android versions then upgrade when a later version comes out?
Is it simply that OS 2.2 is sub-par for the task (what does that say of already released tablets?), a marketing and oneupmanship strategy of delivering with the latest available or is there some more fundamental issue?
I find it hard to believe any company would want to miss the Christmas sales rush and I'd have thought there would be a Hardware Abstraction Layer or some 'driver' mechanism to allow Android to sit on any device, so easy enough to upgrade later.
Google and other's (Notably Samsung at IDF) have already all but said that the real tablet version of Android will be Honeycomb. Gingerbread may add new resolutions thereby helping get the market on tablets but it isn't a real attempt at a tablet version of Android.