The Question Marks That Remain over Q4 Tablets.

Posted on 23 August 2010, Last updated on 10 June 2018 by

smartdevices Bob Morris, head of the mobile computing division at ARM, is telling us that the Dell Streak is just the first in a line of more tablets that will arrive from various vendors in time for Christmas. I guess if anyone should have the inside info on this it’s Bob so it’s a good sign.

We’re clearly looking at Android as the de-facto Q4/Q1 2011 operating system solution for most of these tablets and although Froyo with Flash 10.1 is a great starting point, there’s still a significant number of big question marks that keep me sceptical. I know Nvidia, ARM and others have talked about waiting for Flash and ‘fall’ but there’s more to it than that.

How about Google Market? This is becoming more secretive than Adsense or Google’s Search algorithm and one wonders just how much money Google are now making from it. The Dell Streak got Market by being a large well-branded company that effectively designed a Android smartphone but what about the others? Every device that didn’t have marketplace/Gmail/contacts/maps so far has been highlighted as an incomplete Android product. Sideloading and 3rd party app stores aren’t the fix either. The second problem is that there needs to be a new suite of >=WVGA, large screen (mdpi-large in Android speak) apps before the first reviews start otherwise the whole Android tablet ecosystem will be tainted with poor early reviews. Bad news never seems to fade from search engine results so Google needs to re-build their app suite for mdpi-large (or even mdpi-maxi as ‘large’ only goes to 5.8 inch screens.) If Android is to have a chance at getting more productive applications in the store (as Apple have already done) Google also need to give developers a chance to prepare new versions of their apps. That can only happen if Google stimulates the developers by announcing Android 3.0 or a new phase of tablet-focused work. Give us a sign Google. Apple gave some devs a three-month head start before the product was launched. Although this was a restricted program, it was instrumental in creating a good day-1, week-1 buzz.

Link: Overview of tablets available, announced and expected

If I was an Android Tablet OEM right now I’d be considering waiting for even more than the above.

  • Cheaper Cortex A9 platforms and proven Android hardware builds. Cortex A8 is still good enough but to make a serious marketing splash, dual-core A9 is now needed.
  • Clarification on what the hell is going on with Chrome OS (touchscreen support looks likely)
  • Concrete information about Android 3.0 (Apps suite, developer take-up, information about ARM-optimised kernels)
  • IDF (Sept) and MeeGo 1.1 (Oct) (To asses competing product timescales)

Racing to get a product out for Christmas sales could be too risky and the whole ‘smart’ tablet market could suffer if a big name gets it wrong. Like you, I want products NOW but i have the feeling that the iPad will be a year old before we see any serious competitors.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike Cane says:

    We’ll see. Although the Pandigital Novel was said to be Android 2.0, someone was personally told it’s 1.5 or 1.6 with “bits” of 2.0, wtf that means!

    Archos killed themselves by putting 1.5 in the 7HT. 1.5 can’t even use some eBook reading software, such as from Kobo, which requires 1.6.

    All of these Android tablet makers keep coming off as a collection of Keystone Kops tripping over each other.

  2. CharlesInCanada says:

    Hmm, I get the impression that Google’s leadership has slipped recently:
    Froyo is slow to deploy, there’s total confusion about Android 3.0 and Chrome OS. Can it maintain its vertiginous pace of 200,000 activations per day?

    Maybe this confusion is creating an opportunity for Meego, WinPhone7 and WebOS. But is there enough room for 6 OS’es? Product announcements from now till CES and MWC early next year will be critical don’t you think?

  3. Nodi says:

    Google does seem to be blowing it, their 2nd most known product behind search is Android. we started hearing about Gingerbread 3 a couple months back & they are saying end of the year for release. why in the hell is it taking so long for such a simple dumbed-down OS? yes we all know Google hired Palms UI guy in order to work his magic on Android. but why cant a company as rich as Google just hire a truckload of programmers & get this thing done? if it takes 10,000 hours to complete, the more people you hire the quicker you get there!

    they may regret creating Android as the burden it has become for them, but they are now in a position to keep going as MS had to do with Windows or face a public backlash. at this point they cant simply toss it in their failed projects bin along with Wave, Buzz, & countless others.

Recommended Reading

Top Ultra Mobile PCs

Dell Latitude E7440
14.0" Intel Core i5-4200U
Viliv S5
4.8" Intel Atom (Silverthorne)
GPD Pocket 2
7.0" Intel Core m3-8100Y
GPD Win 2
6.0" Intel m3 7Y30
Acer Aspire Switch 10
10.1" Intel Atom Z3745
HP Elitebook 820 G2
12.5" Intel Core i5 5300U
Acer Aspire E11 ES1
11.6" Intel Celeron N2840
Microsoft Surface Go
10.0" Intel Pentium 4415Y
Dell Latitude E7450
14.0" Intel Core i5 5200U
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 10
10.1" Intel Celeron N2806