They're in the oven! Google's partners have been told their engineering samples of the next Android operating system will be ready for testing on tablet computers this December. And some of those partners passed this delivery date on.
We still don't know if Gingerbread will be released as Android OS 2.3, 2.5, or 3.0, but whatever number they call it, Android tablet manufacturers will have it in a couple of months to make sure everything's working as advertised. And December is a great time for Gingerbread, especially if you're a tablet manufacturer. Why?
Three letters. CES.
That stands for International Consumer Electronics Show, January 6-9th, 2011 in Las Vegas. It's the biggest annual convention in the US, and where must-have gizmos and gadgets go to debut, dance, and attempt to get decided distribution. And several Android tablets will be making their first public appearance at CES, including offerings from Acer, Asustek Computer and Micro-Star International (MSI). These firms are known for their notebook computers, so tablets are a new line for each.
Of course, Samsung will be showing off their hot-from-the-oven Galaxy Tab baked with Gingerbread, which will definitely be a must-see. HTC and Motorola will also showcase their new Gingerbread tabs in Glitter Gulch.
Now here's another tasty tidbit from the secret sources. Turns out Gingerbread is not only delicious, it's easier on your wallet. A manufacturer pays $50 to $60 to license the Microsoft Windows operating system, but Android is free, and licensing Google's mobility suite costs about $10. In addition, an Intel processor runs about $30 more than an ARM CPU.
The nine-hundred pound gorilla in the room is the Apple iPad. Every one of these manufacturers wants to build an iPad-slayer, and if they can compete on cost, features and quality some of them may succeed. Windows tablets haven't caught on despite years of trying, and Google discouraged their partners from building tablet computers running Android OS 2.2 (Froyo) due to compatibility issues. Their new OS might be the recipe that leads to very heavy use of cinnamon and spice, and results in a bunch of leftover Apples.