Sorting Out the Truth on ASUS’ Tablets

January 14, 2011 - Written By Anthony Hardy

Asus held a press conference at this year’s CES in which they gave details about their upcoming tablets. The Charmain of Asus stated that the tablets would feature Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) as would be expected for the 10.1 inch tablets. However, after CES a conflicting report was released by the Inquirer.

Inq: ANDROID 3.0 HONEYCOMB will not be the operating system running on three Asus tablets announced at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, even when they finally tip up months later than expected.

This brought up some questions, naturally, on which story was actually true.  Tech In Style did some investigating on the topic  and came up with some interesting information.  They spoke to a correspondant on the Asus tablet team that had this to say:

Mr. W (PM) explained this was untrue, his team are still on course to launch the tablets with 3.0 ‘Honeycomb’, they are just waiting on Google’s release schedule now.

This seems to make more sense, because Asus would not come out and state their tablets would feature Honeycomb, then reverse on that decision days later. The Inquirer then stated:

Inq: Asus marketing specialist John Swatton told The INQUIRER late today that because the company did not know the detailed technical specifications requirements of the Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system, it could not confirm that Honeycomb will be the tablets’ OS.

This statement is basically the case with all manufacturers except Motorola, which made the Xoom tablet on which Honeycomb is being designed.  Google has not stated specific requirements so they cannot say with 100% certainty, but in all likelihood they will feature the tablet OS. The Inq also stated they would not be released in quarter 2 as Asus stated, but at a later date to which TIS’ correspondent responded:

Mr. W said ASUS is still on chart for the dates originally given launch dates at CES: April, May and June. That is, provided Google doesn’t slip its own 3.0 OS launch schedule.

I’m not exactly sure as to what the Inquirer intended to do by making these statements.  The last statement seems completely off base.

Inq: Android tablets that don’t have phone functionality can’t use the Android Marketplace, so companies such as Toshiba and Archos are creating their own app stores.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this statement is completely false at least for tablets featuring Honeycomb.  This may have been true for earlier tabs running Froyo Android 2.2 but not this time around.  Could you imagine holding a 10.1 inch tablet up to your face or even having one easily accessible for calls? There is already a Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi version in the works to dispel that notion.

As of today expect the Asus tablets to feature Android Honeycomb 3.0 barring any delays from Google itself, and expect them to be released some time during quarter 2.  Hopefully that clears things up a little.

Source: Tech in Style