These last few days the Android blogosphere has been awash with excited spluttering, dubious rumours and hopeful conflation. Kicking things off was City A.M., a "London-based free daily newspaper that specialises in financial news". According to an article on their website, Google had struck a deal with the popular phone retailer Carphone Warehouse. CPW were to sell Google's next phone, the Nexus Two by any other name. Their position as a reseller of phones and contracts on most if not all networks in the UK and wider Europe makes them a logical choice, right?
Remember that Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone we heard about back in August? Turns out it's not only real, but a prototype is out and about in the wild - and Engadget has landed themselves some surprisingly clear and detailed pictures of the device. Better still, it looks pretty close to the renders we saw in August - surprising, given the track record for Android rumors.
Between the PlayStation moniker and the slide-out gamepad, I think it's pretty clear that this beastie will be marketed as a gaming phone.
What do we have here? Why, it's a giant Gingerbread statue getting installed over at Googleplex, right next to Froyo and the rest of the gang. It's not exactly what we'd been expecting and hoping to see today, but it's a start. Last time the Froyo statue was installed, we got the SDK a week later. Bring it on, Google!
Samsung may have its Android tablet out and about in Europe, but it looks like the other large Android manufacturers - Motorola and HTC - are just getting themselves into gear. Last month, DigiTimes reported some dubious rumours that Pegatron (a division of ASUS) had won the contract to manufacture HTC's tablet device with the following description:
HTC reportedly will launch a tablet PC using Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform and Google's Android operating system.
Take this with a large grain of salt as it's just a rumor at this point, but one of our sources very close to the Android core who has been testing and working with Gingerbread for quite a while recently shared a little tidbit of info. According to the source, we won't have to wonder what exactly Gingerbread, the next Android OS, is going to bring to the table for too long because the Gingerbread SDK is going to go public next week.
The latest Android platform numbers are out, and thanks to carrier support of updates (Verizon and Sprint, anyway) FroYo has made an impressive boost to capture 33.4% of Android devices. This isn't enough to upset Android 2.1, which remains on top with 40.4%, but it's a good sign of diminishing Android fragmentation nonetheless.
When Gingerbread hits this fall/winter, however, this chart is bound to get pretty ugly - while Donut and Cupcake continued their decline, together they still make up a decent portion of Android devices, at 26.1% combined.
It's been so long off the radar that you can be forgiven for forgetting about it, but LG has had plans to release an Android tablet originating all the way back in July. The original release was set to be sometime in Q4 of 2010, but it's just been pushed back indefinitely when an unnamed official at LG commented:
We plan to introduce a tablet that runs on the most reliable Android version ...
Take this one with a huge grain of salt: DigiTimes is reporting, yet again, that HTC is about to enter the tablet market by leveraging their expertise with Android and their relations with carriers around the world. The rumours point to a launch date in early 2011 and specs that certainly look good, but would you pay the rumoured price of $790 for it?
The claimed specs:
1280×720 display (from earlier reports, that may point towards Gingerbread)
nVidia Tegra 2 SoC
32 GB SSD
2 GB RAM
WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
Full Android Market
Support for Chrome Web Apps
That Tegra 2 chipset should provide enough power to surpass the iPad and make for a very fluid experience.
During the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference yesterday, Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha said, “I will only develop a tablet if it is sufficiently compelling. Hopefully, that is early next year.” In fact, according to his comments, it seems that they haven't even started development of a tablet yet.
This doesn't quite jibe with what we've heard before. In mid-August, word around the 'net was that a Motorola tablet device was coming to Verizon sometime in November.