Android Honeycomb Coming in March?

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Buried in a report detailing Taiwanese tablets at CES was this little nugget: “MSI is also prepared to sell an Nvidia Tegra 2-based model in April or May after Google releases Android 3.0 in March.”

The source of the report is the DigiTimes, which has a spotty-at-best track record when it comes to rumors. However, with Motorola prepping its Honeycomb (Android 3.0) tablet for CES, which is only a few weeks away, a March Honeycomb launch makes sense.

Google announced Gingerbread (Android 2.3) on December 10th of this year. A March release would give Google four months between versions, and while that is shorter than the six months between Android 2.2 (Froyo, launched in May 2010) and 2.3, Google waited only a little more than a month between announcing Android 1.6 (Donut, launched in September 2009) and 2.0/2.1 (Éclair, launched in October 2009).

Also, two major mobile-focused tradeshows happen in and around March; Mobile World Congress in February, and CTIA Wireless in March. Both present ideal opportunities for Google to grab headlines with its tablet OS as the mobile community will be paying close attention to the events.

Finally, there is the Motorola Honeycomb tablet. Google Android engineer Andy Rubin already showed off the device on stage and the near-fully-functional Honeycomb OS at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile conference shortly following the Android Gingerbread announcement, and Motorola has teased the device’s presence at CES in January. Neither would have occurred if Honeycomb wasn’t close to being ready for primetime.

Still, the DigiTimes is reporting the news, and it’s wise to take their reports with a large chunk of salt. Whatever the case, we should know more at CES, where TabletPCReview will be camped out at the Motorola booth hunting for a scoop.

For all the latest updates about desktops, notebooks, smartphones, digital cameras, tablets, and printers at CES 2011, check out the TechnologyGuide CES news page.



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