Motorola Xoom – the Android 3.0 tablet with a dual core 1GHz processor, a 32GB flash storage and 10.1″ screen – is among the most anticipated tech launches this year. The tablet gained huge publicity when it was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month.
While there has not been any official communication regarding the launch date and price, we have heard from Motorola executives from South America that the tablet will launch in April and May of this year. While the price remains elusive, the Xoom could be priced at $799 if a leaked Verizon document is anything to go by. The document contains a list of product prices and launch timelines and contains a ‘Minimum Advertised Price‘ of $799 against the Xoom. The price is set for the period between January 21 and July 21 of this year.
If true, Xoom could seem to be priced higher than the equivalent iPad. As you would know already, the 32GB 3G-enabled version of iPad costs $729 in the US market. What do you think? Are you planning to buy one at this price?
We have heard quite a few things about the Motorola Honeycomb tablet in the past. In fact, Google’s Andy Rubin also carried it to a conference recently. Given the teasers that Motorola had released prior to CES, we were naturally curious to hear more about this upcoming device. And the features definitely do not disappoint.
Firstly, this is a 10.1-inches device that comes with a widescreen HD display with 1280×800 pixel resolution. The Motorola Xoom will run on a dual core processor – each running at 1GHz and will be equipped with two cameras – a rear facing 5-Megapixel camera and another 2-Megapixel front facing camera. There is also support for 1080p HD video and HDMI output. Other details that will be of interest include gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and support for Google Maps 5.0Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Motorola has noted that a 3G/Wi-Fi enabled device will launch in Q1 2011 while a 4G LTE capable device should be available in Q2 2011.
In case you have not been following this space much, the next version of the Android operating system is called Honeycomb and is likely to be Android 3.0. This version of the Android OS is said to be the first version that is optimized for tablet computers (Galaxy Tab is actually considered a phone).
Though we are yet to hear anything substantial from Google regarding this new launch, recent word doing the rounds is that Honeycomb shall not release until March of next year. This is courtesy a report on Taiwanese website Digitimes. The author had stated,
“MSI is set to display its 10-inch Wintel-based tablet PC as well as engineering samples of its ARM-based Google Android model. MSI is also prepared to sell an Nvidia Tegra 2-based model in April or May after Google releases Android 3.0 in March.”
What this means is that the highly anticipated iPad rivals from the likes of Motorola are not expected to launch until then. Incidentally, Motorola had recently unveiled a teaser for their Honeycomb-based tablet that they are showcasing during CES 2011. Now that we hear that the launch of the platform may not happen until March, does that mean the Motorola Tablet may only launch along iPad 2 or later than that? That’s disappointing.
Looks like Carphone Warehouse hasn’t got enough units of Nexus S stocked in their stores yet. It has been announced that the shipping of the Nexus S has been delayed and the new Android 3.0 phones will now be available only from December 22. This is an issue that has affected not just online orders. Even retail purchases are likely to stay limited to only “key stores” of Carphone.
Having said that, the delay should not come as a surprise anymore considering that Carphone Warehouse had only recently announced a massive slashing of the Nexus S prices. You should be aware that the SIM-free version of the device will now cost users £429.99 instead of £549.99. Also, those users buying the phone on contract will now be allowed to sign up for contracts as low as £30 per month.
Have you got your shipment notification yet? Tell us your experience in the comments.
Andy Rubin, the VP of engineering at Google had last week given us a sneak peek into an upcoming Honeycomb tablet from Motorola. While not too many details were divulged, we did hear that the device will sport a NVIDIA processor along with a dual-core 3D processor and video chatting functionalities.
Now, we are coming to know about more features about this upcoming gadget. First of all, a new picture of the tablet comes with a Verizon logo imprinted which has sort of confirmed speculations about the carrier that this tablet could come partnered with. The tipster has also given us some details about some specifications of this tablet which include
While Rubin did not reveal too many details about the new product, we do know that this tablet computer will include a NVIDIA processor, a dual core 3D processor and video chatting capabilities (means a front facing camera as well). The device could measure anywhere between 7″ and 10″ though there is high chance that Motorola could opt for the higher end.
You can check out the demonstration below. Nothing is known about the launch of this device. However, we expect this to happen in the first quarter of 2011 at the least. That would bring another new Android OS to the already fragmented platform. That’s not a good thing, sadly.
Now, we are hearing some more things about this upcoming Android version. Sources are now claiming that the SDK of this upcoming Android 2.3 could in fact be rolling out next week – on November 11. This is just a speculation off an anonymous source and so you will need to take it with guarded skepticism.
Gingerbread will come with a number of new features including a new screen-off animation, video chatting capabilities, support for VoIP calling and several other enhancements and bug fixes (Click here to view a slideshow of all our Gingerbread stories in recent times). If you are an Android phone user, this latest rumor should really make your day.
Android platforms have always been cutely named after desserts and we have always known Gingerbread as Google’s next version of Android. But this upcoming version of Android has so often been used with the assumption that this is going to be Android 3.0. Some users have weighed in with 2.5 as the possible version of the upcoming update.
However, it looks like it shall be neither. A message posted late last month on the Google issues repository forum by a Google employee has given rise to doubts that Gingerbread could actually be Android 2.3 and not 2.5 or 3.0 as originally thought. In the message, the Googler writes,
Yes, Android 2.3 is a “major release”, and this patch will be available then.
Meanwhile, the release of this new Android version looks imminent with Google having unveiled its latest “Gingerbread statue” near the campus where Android is being developed. Similar statues were erected when the previous versions; Eclair and FroYo were rolled out.
Of course, this is no confirmation but a piece of rumor gathered from sources. According to those who claim to be in the know, Google has built this new chat functionality using the same protocols that power a similar video chatting functionality on GTalk; Google’s desktop chatting client. While it is not clear, it can be then assumed that the new video chatting feature will integrate the experience of Gtalk and the Android chat application so that users may communicate with friends irrespective of whether they are online from a desktop or from an Android phone.
What follows next is pretty logical. Google could bring in the voice calling functionality that was introduced to users of Gmail chat not so long ago to the Android platform. That could be pretty revolutionary for VoIP calling.
Earlier this month, there were rumors that the new Motorola Droid Android tablet computer – codenamed StingRay – could be launching as early as October of this year. The speculations came about following leaked screenshots from a Verizon inventory system that contained references to the new Droid tablet. However, it now looks like that rumor was false. In a recent chat, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha has indicated that a Droid tablet may not make it at least until next year till the company was done perfecting all the features. Jha said,
“I will only develop a tablet if it is sufficiently compelling. Hopefully, that is early next year.”
What Jha could be referring to is the fact that the current version of Android OS does not seem to be customized for tablets. Google director of mobile products, Hugo Barra had exclaimed this recently and it is possible that Motorola is waiting for Android 3.0 aka Gingerbread to release before making the new Droid Tablet available in the hands of the public.