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Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and 3.0 (Honeycomb)

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Core information:

All the speculations collected in my Beyond Android 2.1 [July 4] and Android 2.2 (Froyo) excitement is just the tip of the iceberg for the current Android momentum [July 9 – Sept 10] are now over as Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) was released on Dec 6. with the lead device (Samsung Nexus S) availability on Dec 16, as well as Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) shown by Andy Rubin on Dec 6. and the lead device rumored to be Motorola’s XOOM with as early availability as February 2011.

Follow-Up (Aug 2, 2011):
Acer & Asus: Compensating lower PC sales by tablet PC push [March 29, 2011 with comprehensive update on Aug 2, 2011] which is showing serious technical and market problems with the original version of Honeycomb
Tackling the Android tide [July 16, 2011]

Worth to read along with this: Gartner: media tablets are the new segment next to mobile PCs and desktops, as well as web- and app-capable mobile phones [April 16, 2011]

Updates (Feb 4):

Motorola to sell Xoom tablet PC as early as February [Jan 31, 2011]:

Motorola is set to sell its 10.1-inch Android 3.0 tablet PC Xoom as early as February 2011 with the rest of its competitors to start launching their Android 3.0 models after March.

As Google is sending invitations to global media announcing the release date of Android 3.0, iPad-like products are expected to start showing up lead by Motorola.

Since the rest of the PC and smartphone vendors will still take a while to adjust their related settings to allow their machines to run Android 3.0 after it releases, Motorola is expected to have about a month head-start to fully push its Xoom sales.

High Tech Computer (HTC), RIM, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics may need to wait until after March to release their tablet PCs, while PC players such as Acer, Asustek Computer, and Toshiba may even delay to after April or May. To maintain their market position, some vendors plan to launch a small volume of Android 2.3-based models, while some will launch Wintel-based models.

Updates (Jan 10):

Verizon Wireless and Motorola Mobility Announce Motorola XOOM™ Tablet on Nation’s Largest and Most Reliable 3G Network [Jan 5, 2011] (emphasis is mine):

Verizon Wireless and Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE: MMI), today unveiled the innovative new tablet Motorola XOOM™ − the first device on Google’s new Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system designed from the ground up for tablets. The Honeycomb user experience improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization and features the latest Google Mobile innovations. Boasting a dual core processor with each core running at 1 GHz, delivering up to two GHz of processing power, and 10.1-inch widescreen HD display, Motorola XOOM gives Verizon Wireless customers a new type of mobile computing experience on a stylishly thin device that is 4G LTE upgradeable.Motorola XOOM redefines the tablet device category by providing more ways to have fun, connect with friends and stay productive on the go. It allows consumers to experience HD content right on the device, supports 1080p HD video and HDMI output to display content on larger HD screens, and plays video and other rich web content seamlessly with Adobe® Flash® Player. Motorola XOOM features a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chats over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G LTE, as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera that captures video in 720p HD. It delivers console-like gaming performance on its 1280×800 display, and features a built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and adaptive lighting for new types of applications. It also features Google Maps 5.0 with 3D interaction and delivers access to over 3 million Google eBooks and thousands of apps from Android Market™.

The Motorola XOOM device will launch as a 3G/Wi-Fi-enabled device in Q1 2011 with an upgrade to 4G LTE in Q2.

A Sneak Peek of Android 3.0, Honeycomb [Jan 5, Posted by Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering] (emphasis is mine)

… today at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, we previewed Android 3.0, Honeycomb.

Honeycomb is the next version of the Android platform, designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. We’ve spent a lot of time refining the user experience in Honeycomb, and we’ve developed a brand new, truly virtual and holographic user interface. Many of Android’s existing features will really shine on Honeycomb: refined multi-tasking, elegant notifications, access to over 100,000 apps on Android Market, home screen customization with a new 3D experience and redesigned widgets that are richer and more interactive. We’ve also made some powerful upgrades to the web browser, including tabbed browsing, form auto-fill, syncing with your Google Chrome bookmarks, and incognito mode for private browsing.

Honeycomb also features the latest Google Mobile innovations including Google Maps 5 with 3D interactions and offline reliability, access to over 3 million Google eBooks, and Google Talk, which now allows you to video and voice chat with any other Google Talk enabled device (PC, tablet, etc).

Android Honeycomb 3.0 full-live demo! [Jan 6]

CES: Motorola Xoom wins Best of Show. Here’s why. [Jan 8] (emphasis is mine)

As the first exclusive product to feature Google’s tablet-specific Android 3.0 operating system, this award is also a big nod to Google’s work developing the Android Honeycomb operating system previewed in the video below. From what we’ve seen, the Android Honeycomb OS charts exciting new ground for tablets, bringing some dearly needed differentiation from the Android smartphone experience. As with previous versions of Android, Honeycomb will inevitably make its way onto other tablets, offering more choice for consumers and providing the industry a valuable resource. By CES 2012, Honeycomb will likely be the de facto standard for Android-based tablets.

In fact, we considered whether Honeycomb itself should be the nominee, but decided that the Xoom, as a vessel for the OS, was as worthy as its cargo. We believe the Xoom is the most potentially disruptive technology among the nominees; it’s a true competitor for the iPad and will be one of the first 4G-compatible tablets to hit the market.

Samsung Plans Dual-Core Phones, New Tablets in Feb. [Jan 7]

… the company still lacks a tablet running Android 3.0 as well as phones and tablets with dual-core processors, which we’re seeing from Motorola, LG and others.

“In February at MWC, we will unveil our next-generation tablet device portfolio in detail,” [the president of Samsung’s mobile business, JK] Shin said.

Samsung will have both 3G and 4G tablets in the future, and “we are in a position to supply 4G smartphones and tablets to all the carriers in the US,” he said.

New Windows Phone 7 devices, possibly with 4G LTE, may also be announced in February, Shin said.

“We will continue to keep the partnership with Microsoft,” he said.

Samsung’s Galaxy Android Tablet Is Going To Be Obsolete Very Soon [Jan 4]

When Google releases Android 3.0, a.k.a. “Honeycomb,” it’s going to be optimized for tablets, and it’s going to have strict hardware requirements, PC Mag reports.PC Mag spoke with Bobby Cha, managing director of Korean electronics company, Enspert. Cha says Honeycomb with require dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chips.

In other words, it needs strong chips.

This means the current crop of Android tablets on the market, like the Galaxy Tab, won’t be able to upgrade their software to Android 3.0 when it’s available.

Note: Samsung Galaxy Tab Sales Pass 1 Million [Dec 3, 2010]: “In less than two months from launch”

High level Google manager dismisses rumors of minimum system specs for Android 3.0 Honeycomb [Jan 7]
T-Mobile G-Slate announced: 4G, Android 3.0, made by LG [Jan 5]
LG And T-Mobile Release Android 3.0 4G Tablet (video) [Jan 10]

Motorola expected to ship 700,000-800,000 Xoom tablet PCs in 1Q11 [Jan 10, 2011]

The sources also pointed out that Google’s Android 3.0 is most suitable for 7- to 10-inch tablet PCs and most notebook vendors were not able to receive priority support from Google. Currently, Motorola and Samsung are Google’s priority partners with LG Electronics and High Tech Computer (HTC) following behind, the sources noted.

Dell and T-Mobile USA Unveil Streak 7, Both Companies’ First 4G Tablet Offering the Ultimate Entertainment Experience [Jan 6] (emphasis is mine)

The Streak 7 features Google’s™ Android 2.2 operating system, a dual core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and full support for Adobe® Flash® Player.

… The new Streak 7 will feature Dell’s innovative Stage user interface, which provides a seamless and unified experience for accessing all your favorite content. Later this year, Dell will add syncing to Stage so people can keep their photos, contacts, calendars and other personal content synchronized across their Dell Stage-equipped devices, from tablets to PCs, connected through their home network.

Acer’s New ICONIA Tab A500 to Support Gamers and Mobile Consumers on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network [Jan 4]
Acer Iconia Tab A500 first hands-on! (update: video)
[Jan 6]: “It’s just the same engineering prototype with an early build of Android 2.2 we’ve seen before — it’ll run Honeycomb at launch — but this time, we got to touch.
Asus unveils three Android 3.0 tablets
[Jan 5]
CES: Toshiba’s 10-inch Honeycomb tablet, hands-on [Jan 3]
Lenovo to put Google Android 3.0 on tablets
[Jan 10]
Hannspree showcases three new Android tablets
[Jan 10]

End of updates (Jan 10) — additional updates in the Part II.

So while Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) made the user experience issue solved for the Android smartphones, the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) version will deliver a competitive user experience for the upcoming 2011 Android tablets. You can find the currently available information regarding all that below.

Part I. Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

Introducing Nexus S with Gingerbread [Dec 6, 2010]

The very first Android phone hit the market in November 2008. Just over two years later, Android’s vision of openness has spurred the development of more than 100 different Android devices. Today, more than 200,000 Android devices are activated daily worldwide. The volume and variety of Android devices continues to surpass our wildest expectations—but we’re not slowing down.

Today, we’re pleased to introduce the latest version of the Android platform, Gingerbread, and unveil the next Android device from the Nexus line of mobile products—Nexus S. And for developers, the Gingerbread SDK/NDK is now available as well.

Nexus S is the lead device for the Gingerbread/Android 2.3 release; it’s the first Android device to ship with the new version of the Android platform. We co-developed this product with Samsung—ensuring tight integration of hardware and software to highlight the latest advancements of the Android platform. As part of the Nexus brand, Nexus S delivers what we call a “pure Google” experience: unlocked, unfiltered access to the best Google mobile services and the latest and greatest Android releases and updates.

Take a look at our backstory video for more on the vision behind this product and to understand why we think “a thousand heads are better than one”:

Nexus S is the first smartphone to feature a 4” Contour Display designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face. It also features a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, front and rear facing cameras, 16GB of internal memory, and NFC (near field communication) hardware that lets you read information from NFC tags. NFC is a fast, versatile short-range wireless technology that can be embedded in all kinds of everyday objects like movie posters, stickers and t-shirts.

Gingerbread is the fastest version of Android yet, and it delivers a number of improvements, such as user interface refinements, NFC support, a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.

After December 16, Nexus S can be purchased (unlocked or with a T-Mobile service plan) online and in-store from all Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores in the U.S. and after December 20 at Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy retailers in the U.K.

We’ll be open-sourcing Gingerbread in the coming weeks and look forward to new contributions from the Android ecosystem in the months ahead.

Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering

Android 2.3 Platform and Updated SDK Tools [Dec 6, 2010]

Today we’re announcing a new version of the Android platform — Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). It includes many new platform technologies and APIs to help developers create great apps. Some of the highlights include:

Enhancements for game development: To improve overall responsiveness, we’ve added a new concurrent garbage collector and optimized the platform’s overall event handling. We’ve also given developers native access to more parts of the system by exposing a broad set of native APIs. From native code, applications can now access input and sensor events, EGL/OpenGL ES, OpenSL ES, and assets, as well a new framework for managing lifecycle and windows. For precise motion processing, developers can use several new sensor types, including gyroscope.Rich multimedia: To provide a great multimedia environment for games and other applications, we’ve added support for the new video formats VP8 and WebM, as well as support for AAC and AMR-wideband encoding. The platform also provides new audio effects such as reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost.New forms of communication: The platform now includes support for front-facing camera, SIP/VOIP, and Near Field Communications (NFC), to let developers include new capabilities in their applications.

For a complete overview of what’s new in the platform, see the Android 2.3 Platform Highlights:

Alongside the new platform, we are releasing updates to the SDK Tools (r8), NDK, and ADT Plugin for Eclipse (8.0.0).

Supporting Multiple Screens

Quickview

  • Android runs on devices that have different screen sizes and resolutions.
  • The screen on which your application is displayed can affect its user interface.
  • The platform handles most of the work of adapting your app to the current screen.
  • You can create screen-specific resources for precise control of your UI, if needed.
  • Older applications run in a compatibility mode that provides best-effort rendering on the current screen.
  • It’s important to follow the best practices described in this document and test your application in all supported screens.

Android is designed to run on a variety of devices that offer a range of screen sizes and resolutions. For applications, the platform provides a consistent environment across devices and handles much of the complexity of adapting an application’s UI to the screen on which it is being displayed. At the same time, the platform exposes APIs that give application developers precise control over their application’s UI when displayed on specific screen sizes and resolutions.

This document explains the screens-support features provided by the platform and how you use them in your application. By following the practices described here, you can easily create an application that displays properly on all supported device screens and that you can deploy to any device as a single .apk.

If you have already developed and published an application for Android 1.5 or earlier, you should read this document and consider how you may need to adapt your application for proper display on new devices that offer different screens and that are running Android 1.6 or later. In most cases, only minor adjustments are needed, however you should make sure to test your application on all supported screens.

Starting in Android 2.2, the platform includes support for extra high density screens (xhdpi), and starting in Android 2.3, the platform includes support for extra large screens (xlarge). If you’ve already followed the guidance in this document to support all other screen types, you should consider providing additional support for xhdpi and xlarge screens.

In particular, if you have an existing application that you would like to make available on small screens (such as QVGA) or for which you would like to provide better support for extra large screens, please see Strategies for Legacy Applications for more information about how to do that.

New Gingerbread API: StrictMode [Dec 12, 2010]

I joined the Android team full-time just over a year ago and spent a lot of time investigating Froyo performance issues, in particular debugging ANRs (those annoying dialogs you get when an application stalls its main thread’s Looper). Debugging ANRs with the tools at hand was painful and boring. There wasn’t enough instrumentation to find the causes, especially when multiple processes were involved (doing Binder or ContentResolver operations to Services or ContentProviders in other processes). There had to be a better way to track down latency hiccups and ANRs…

StrictMode is a new API in Gingerbread which primarily lets you set a policy on a thread declaring what you’re not allowed to do on that thread, and what the penalty is if you violate the policy. Implementation-wise, this policy is simply a thread-local integer bitmask.

Using the data from StrictMode we fixed hundreds of responsiveness bugs and animation glitches all across the board. We made performance optimizations in the Android core (e.g. system services and providers) so all apps on the system will benefit, as well as fixing up tons of app-specific issues (in both AOSP apps and Google apps). Even if you’re using Froyo today, the recent updates to GMail, Google Maps, and YouTube all benefited from StrictMode data collection gathered on Gingerbread devices.

Googlers who switched from Froyo to Gingerbread without seeing all the baby steps between were shocked at how much more responsive the system became. Our friends on the Chrome team then recently added something similar. Of course, StrictMode can’t take all the credit. The new concurrent garbage collector in Gingerbread also greatly reduces latency hiccups.

Nexus S with Google

Nexus S is the next generation of Nexus devices, co-developed by Google and Samsung. The latest Android platform (Gingerbread), paired with a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor and 16GB of memory, makes Nexus S one of the fastest phones on the market. It comes pre-installed with the best of Google apps and enabled with new and popular features like true multi-tasking, Wi-Fi hotspot, Internet Calling, NFC support, and full web browsing. With this device, users will also be the first to receive software upgrades and new Google mobile apps as soon as they become available. For more details, visit http://www.google.com/nexus.

TechCrunch Review: Google Nexus S [Dec 6]

Unlike the Nexus One, the phone was not built from scratch – the starting point was the Samsung Galaxy S, released earlier this year. And Google will not be selling this phone directly to consumers. They say that experiment is over, and this phone will be available initially at Best Buy in the U.S. (on T-Mobile) and Carphone Warehouse in the U.K. Google says the phone is currently expected to be available starting December 16, although pre-orders might be taken earlier.

The bottom line is this. If you are an iPhone user this isn’t going to make you switch. If you’re an Android user you will want this phone more than any other. If you’re currently neither, we recommend that you go with the Nexus S. It is better than the iPhone in most ways. What you lose with the slightly less impressive screen and iOS’s slightly slicker user experience you will more than make up for with the Nexus S’s ability to actually make phone calls that don’t drop and Google’s exceptional Navigation and voice input applications. The fact that the phone is unlocked and can be used abroad with other carriers is also a very big plus.

Hands On With Largest Android Phone Ever: A 42-Inch Nexus S [Dec 23, 2010, video included]

Last night, Google employees installed a giant Nexus S in the San Carlos Best Buy, sporting a 42 inch touchscreen, a working camera, and internet connectivity. Yes, unlike the giant Nexus Ones that Google produced last year, which just played a looping video of the UI, this giant Nexus S actually works. And it’s actually being powered by a real (smaller) Nexus S that’s been equipped with special video-out capabilities.

Part II. Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)

Motorola Android tablet prototype makes a cameo at D: Dive Into Mobile running Honeycomb [Dec 6, 2010]

Google’s Andy Rubin brought more than just a Nexus S in his bag of goodies tonight. On stage at D: Dive Into Mobile, the man has brought with him a prototype Android tablet from Motorola. It’s got video chat, an NVIDIA processor, a “dual core 3D processor,” and… oh yeah, it runs Honeycomb, not Gingerbread. Little else is known — Rubin immediately turned his attention to a new release of Google Maps — but we wouldn’t be surprised if we were looking at Stingray, a tablet rumored for a launch on Verizon shortly.

Prototype Motorola Android tablet, running a dual core Nvidia chip and Honeycomb, the next iteration of Android.

DROID XOOM will be Motorola’s Honeycomb Tablet, Won’t be 4G LTE [Dec 29, 2010]

How does the Motorola DROID XOOM sound?  According to our sources, that’s exactly what we can expect Motorola’s Honeycomb tablet to be called when it’s announced next week at CES.  We’ve seen the word “XOOM” through a batch of global trademarks, but we have confirmation that this will indeed be the name, it will definitely be running Honeycomb and for now, won’t be 4G LTE.

Update:
Upstream supply chain facing challenge from strong tablet PC orders [Jan 10, 2011]

Upstream component makers, facing tablet PC players placing strong orders, expect their sales performance to benefit significantly; however they also pointed out that the orders will give them strong pressure over supply management.

In addition to Apple’s iPad, RIM’s PlayBook and Motorola’s Xoom as well as High Tech Computer’s (HTC’s) new tablet PCs are all set to appear in the channel in the first half of 2011 and the total tablet PC shipment may go even higher after notebook vendors start joining the market.

Despite many tablet PC brands are placing strong orders, their actual sales in retail channels are a concern among upstream players since these tablet PCs may not be able to see as strong demand as Apple’s iPad.

And if the demand is strong, since most of the upstream component makers already have existed orders to supply, the extra orders may also affect makers’ capacity schedule.

In addition, production yield rate and capacity allocation will also be issues that the makers will need to face.

As a result, upstream component makers are facing a dilemma since they do not dare to expand their capacity recklessly due to uncertainty about tablet PC’s future demand, but if the market takes off, they will face issues with capacity which could seriously damage clients.

Motorola expected to ship 700,000-800,000 Xoom tablet PCs in 1Q11 [Jan 10, 2011]

Motorola, with assistance from Google, has showcased its new Android 3.0-based Xoom tablet PC and has placed orders for about 700,000-800,000 units with four color options for the first quarter of 2011, according to sources from upstream component makers. The sources expect the orders to go up as high as one million units in the quarter.

In addition to Taiwan-based notebook chassis makers such as Catcher Technology and Foxconn Technology, handset chassis makers including Taiwan Chi Cheng (CCC) and Silitech Technology are also expected to benefit from the tablet PC chassis business opportunity, the sources noted.

The sources also pointed out that Google’s Android 3.0 is most suitable for 7- to 10-inch tablet PCs and most notebook vendors were not able to receive priority support from Google. Currently, Motorola and Samsung are Google’s priority partners with LG Electronics and High Tech Computer (HTC) following behind, the sources noted.

The Xoom tablet PC adopts a 10.1-inch touch panel with a resolution of 1280 by 800, Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor and has HDMI and USB ports. The device also features a 5-megapixel camera and an LED flash light.

Report, LG Bringing Android Honeycomb Optimus Pad Tablet To CES 2011 [Dec 29, 2010]

This Optimus Pad tablet from LG according to this source will run on Android Honeycomb OS. The new report meshes with a report we posted about back in November –when an LG official spilled some details to a Korean news outlet– that stated the upcoming 8.9-inch LG tablet would be powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core chip.

Android Honeycomb Music Player: Full Guide (Early Leak) [Dec 30, 2010]

SO, there’s an Unofficial / Leaked version of the new Honeycomb music player from Android floating around out there, right? Well, we had quite a time getting this little APK to work once we got it, and we bet we weren’t the only ones. Therefor, we’ve whipped up for you this little guide and points post so that you might get the sweet updated music action working on your Android device with as little or no hassle as possible.

Nokia name-checked as Android Honeycomb tablet producer [Dec 29, 2010]

A casual name-drop in a report on Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets has led to suggestions that Nokia is working with Google on an Android device. DigiTimes claims Google has been giving priority to brand-name handset manufacturers with support for the tablet-centric Honeycomb release, bypassing notebook makers in the process, but Nokia is in among the list of “smartphone players” supposedly working with the search giant.

It’s most likely an oversight by DigiTimes’ writers, but the remaining players on the list – Motorola, Samsung, LG and HTC – are all companies we’ve heard Android tablet rumors about in the past. A similar casual mention pre-holidays tipped Honeycomb for a March 2011 release; now the site is claiming some smartphone manufacturers could have slates running the platform out as early as the latter half of February next year.

Nokia Android Honeycomb tablet is latest odd OS rumor [Dec 29, 2010]

Android Honeycomb due for March 2011 release tip insiders [Dec 23, 2010]

Google has been coy on when exactly Android Honeycomb – the tablet-customized version of the open-source OS – will be launched, but Taipei sources may have scooped their announcement. According to DigiTimes, MSI is preparing to sell a Tegra 2 based tablet in April or May “after Google releases Android 3.0 in March.”

Now, DigiTimes has a patchy track record for accuracy, and we’re not sure if Honeycomb is going to be Android 2.4 or Android 3.0 – since Google is yet to confirm version numbers – but it certainly fits in with some previous rumors that suggested a broader February/March release window.

Android Honeycomb Is Indeed Version 2.4, Say Server Logs (Update) [Dec 29, 2010]

So we happened to be looking through some of our analytics logs today, and for the first time ever, we saw a very curious thing: a single device performed a single visit on Sunday and reported its operating system as Android 2.4. This would not be the first time we’d heard that Honeycomb, the confirmed codename for the post-Gingerbread version of the platform, referred to version number 2.4, and not 3.0, as has been widely expected up to this point — Android and Me first reported this possibility on December 15th, citing a developer working on third party software for “different versions of Android.”

Update: After seeing our post, Android Police checked its own logs, which turned up 15 visits from several 2.4 devices over a six day period — and none from devices reporting themselves as 3.x.

Notebook vendors seeing R&D delays for Android 3.0 tablets [Dec 29, 2010]

… Google is currently giving priority for Android 3.0 support mainly to smartphone players such as Motorola, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, High Tech Computer (HTC) and Nokia, leaving notebook vendors facing delays in their R&D schedules.

Sources believe Google’s strategy will cause notebook vendors to launch their tablet PCs later than smartphone players, while some players even believe that the tablet PC market will not be fully dominated by notebook vendors who will also face competition from smartphone players.

Smartphone players are expected to launch their Android 3.0 tablet PCs as early as the second half of February 2011, while notebook vendors will need to wait until the end of March to be able to have products on the market, the sources noted.

Although most of the notebook vendors are already set to launch Wintel- or Android 2.2-based models, most of their shipment volumes are still limited as the vendors are pessimistic about these models and believe Android 3.0 will be the shipments driver.

Update: Google giving priority to cooperate with Motorola, Samsung and HTC on Android 3.0 tablet PCs [Jan 7, 2011]

Google has apparently given priority to Motorola, Samsung Electronics and HTC for cooperation to develop tablet PCs that will run on Android 3.0 Honeycomb, according to industry sources.

Motorola has unveiled its Xoom tablet PC running on Android 3.0 at CES 2011, while Samsung is able to manufacture a number of key components for tablet PCs, the sources noted.

On the other hand, Taiwan-based ODM notebook makers are not strong in software development and also cannot control the supply of some key components for tablet PCs, making them unable to compete with handset makers to win support from Google, the source pointed out.

Compal Electronics reportedly tried in vain to cooperate with Google to develop tablet PCs in 2010 as Google has given priority to handset vendors, the sources added.

Handset vendors prefer notebook to handset makers for outsourcing tablet PCs, say Taiwan handset makers [Dec 29, 2010]

With handset vendors stepping into tablet PCs, priority is being given to notebook ODMs rather than handset makers for outsourced production, according to Taiwan-based handset makers.

RIM, Motorola and HTC have selected notebook ODMs Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics and Pegatron Technology, respectively, to produce their own-brand tablet PCs, the sources pointed out. Hewlett-Packard may choose Inventec to make its WebOS tablet PCs, the sources added.

Tablet PCs are actually more similar to smartphones than to notebooks in processor architecture, operating system, power consumption, user interface, communication functions and portability, the sources indicated. However, handset vendors mostly develop tablet PCs in-house and therefore care about the efficiency and cost of assembly, and in this respect notebook makers have the advantage because tablets are closer to notebooks than to smartphones in size, the sources analyzed.

Samsung, LG to enhance presence in global smartphone market in 2011, say Taiwan makers [Dec 28, 2010]

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have gained footholds in the global market of smartphones in 2010 with Galaxy S and Optimus One respectively, and will launch many smartphone models to strengthen their market status in high-end and entry-level as well as mid-range to entry-level segments respectively, according to Taiwan-based handset makers.

Samsung and LG emphasize the importance of touch panels for smartphones and both have the advantage of in-house panel technologies and production capacities, the sources indicated. Samsung will capitalize on its Super AMOLED (active matrix OLED) technology, while LG will adopt LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) panels in the first half of 2011 and then AMOLED panels in the second half, the sources noted.

Focusing on high-end and entry-level segments in 2011, Samsung will launch Android smartphone models throughout the year and Windows Phone 7 (WP7) models additionally in the second half, the sources pointed out. Samsung is expected to intensify competition with Motorola and Taiwan-based HTC in high-end smartphone models, especially in North American market, the sources indicated.

LG will launch 30 smartphone models priced at US$150-400, using either Android or WP7, in 2011, bringing significant competitive pressure on China-based vendors including Huawei Device and ZTE, the sources pointed out.

MID market grows 72% in 2010, says The Information Network [Dec 29, 2010]

Strong growth in smartphones and the huge success of the iPad spurred record growth in mobile Internet devices (MID) for 2010, according to research firm The Information Network.

“The MID market grew 72% in 2010 to 314 million units,” noted Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network. “By way of comparison, 2009 registered only a 20% gain.”

Growth was helped by a 90% gain in e-book reader shipments, a 60% gain in smartphones, and nearly 20 million iPads sold. For 2011, unit shipments of MID devices will moderate to a 44% growth.

ARM owns the MID space. It owns 95% of the mobile phone market and 85% of the smartphone market by unit shipments. ARM processors are being manufactured in the best semiconductor facilities. Companies that are currently or formerly ARM licensees include Alcatel, Atmel, Broadcom, Cirrus Logic, Digital Equipment Corporation, Freescale, Intel (through DEC), LG Group, Marvell Technology Group, NEC, NVIDIA, NXP (previously Philips), Oki, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sharp, ST Microelectronics, Symbios Logic, Texas Instruments, VLSI Technology, Yamaha and ZiiLABS, and TSMC.

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6 Comments

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  4. […] is just the tip of the iceberg for the current Android momentum [July 9 – Sept 10, 2010] – Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and 3.0 (Honeycomb) [Dec 30, 2010 – Feb 4, […]

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  6. […] to closeness of 2.3 and 3.0 releases Detailed information about them was provided in the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and 3.0 (Honeycomb) [Dec 30, 2010 – Feb 4, 2011] post on this […]

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