Ready for some more Android Open Source Project woes? In addition to the Nexus 7 drama over AOSP builds in the last couple of weeks, it looks like there are some issues with the Nexus 10 as well. Don't worry, the Android 4.3 factory image for the N10 is sitting on the Google Developers page, proud and happy, but the binaries and drivers for some individual components on the tablet seem to be missing, most notably the graphics driver. It's available for 4.2.2, but not 4.3. What's up?
Our favorite AOSP evangelist, Jean-Baptiste Queru, confirmed this state of affairs on a Google Groups developer conversation back ion July 30th. While he doesn't display the firebrand passion that caused him to publicly "quit AOSP" over the lack of a factory image for the Nexus 7 2013, he makes it clear that those developers wishing to build Android for the Nexus 10 from source are out of luck when it comes to 4.3.
Nexus 10 is not supported in AOSP as of 4.3. You need to use 4.2.2... Getting a license would be a prerequisite, but it might not be the only factor. Specifically, if such a license doesn't apply to all the necessary files, or if it only applies to 4.3 but not subsequent releases, it's not clear that Nexus 10 would be considered supported again.
So what's the deal here? Qualcomm can't be a problem for the Nexus 10 - the GPU is a Mali T604, paired to Samsung's Exynos 5 chipset. Since Samsung has licensed the design of the GPU from ARM, that means that the binaries are theirs to release, or as it may be, not release. It's even more puzzling since the Nexus 10 binaries for 4.2 and 4.2.2 both include downloadable files for the graphics, marked as "Samsung" on the Drivers page. Whatever the issue, it's apparently enough of a roadblock that Queru states that a lack of licensing might keep the Nexus 10 from getting official AOSP support going forward.
Again, the 4.3 factory image for the Nexus 10 is still available to end users. The Nexus 7 situation was quickly and amicably resolved - let's hope that the Nexus 10 gets a similar ending.