Google's Android operating system is set to get a major update in the coming weeks, in the form of Android 3.0 Gingerbread, which should become the first flavor of the platform to include support for tablet PCs. With the OS version almost here, all that remains to be seen is when the first devices powered by it would be ready, something that might happen before the end of the year.
Previous reports on the matter suggested that the first devices to run under Android 3.0 Gingerbread would be announced officially sometime in the first quarter of the next year, but it seems that things might actually move faster than that.
According to a recent article on DigiTimes, the Android 3.0 operating system should be ready pretty soon, while the tablet PC engineer samples would start to emerge in December.
The news site cites anonymous sources, according to which Google has already notified partners regarding the near release of the new platform version.
Among the major companies set to unveil tablet PCs in early 2011, we can count Acer, Asustek Computer and Micro-Star International, all three expected to bring their devices at CES in January.
Moreover, HTC Corporation and Motorola are also expected to launch Android 3.0 tablet PCs, as well as Samsung, which is said to plan showcasing at CES its “Android 3.0-updated Galaxy Tab.”
With the new release, Android is expected to increase its share on the tablet PC market. Moreover, it should grow even more next year, as soon as Android 4.0 is brought to the market.
Android is seen as a much cheaper option for makers interested in pre-loading it on Tablet PCs.
While choosing Microsoft's Windows OS would cost around US$50-60, licensing Google's Android platform costs only US$10.
Moreover, Android tablets are cheaper to make courtesy of their ARM processors, which are priced around US$30 lower than Intel processors, which would fit inside Windows slates.
Rumors on various Android-based tablet PCs have emerged into the wild quite a while ago, and it appears that they might all become official pretty soon.
However, nothing was announced officially on the matter for the time being, so keep an eye on this space for more info.