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Google has told hardware and software developers to expect Android 3.0 in December.

So say moles from within Taiwan's hardware manufacturing community, according to a report from local newssite DigiTimes.

It was always believed that Android 3.0 would ship to developers in December, paving the way for sample hardware in the same month and product launches in January. However, Google's announcement shows that that timetable is to be met.

Android 3.0 - aka Gingerbread - is expected to bring a host of tablet-centric capabilities to the Google smartphone OS, and a fair few tablet makers have been patiently waiting for the arrival of the new version before the ship their iPad rivals.

Acer is one of them, and LG recently stated publicly that it doesn't want to release its tablet until Gingerbread is ready. Android 2.2 - the version used by, for example, Samsung's Galaxy Tab, which ships on 1 November - is not suitable for tablets, it said.

It seems likely that other firms, such as Asus, Toshiba, HTC, Lenovo and Motorola, will also hold back releases until early 2011.

Expect January's Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to play host to many Android 3.0 launch announcements. ®

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